Employers must not be forgotten in conversation about workplaces

Thursday 8 February, 2024

Decisions which impact the state’s workplaces cannot be made without genuine consideration of what those impacts mean for employers – now and in the future. 

Close to two and a half million Queenslanders rely on the business community for employment in Queensland. And we all rely on the business community to supply the goods and services we need to live, work and play every day.  

Every business, in every part of the state and in every industry, risks being impacted by industrial relations reforms before Parliament this week.  

These IR reforms mean many businesses’ ability to manage their workforce will be reduced while their employees’ ability to negotiate their work conditions with their employer can also be reduced. Decisions about employment, which were previously made at the business level, risk being made by legislation.  

And it’s all happening against an already challenging business environment, where stretched and stressed employers are facing record high costs, poor business conditions, ongoing workforce challenges and weak confidence in the future of the state and national economies.  

In our research about these IR changes, businesses told us their workforce was their biggest asset. Employers want to have safe, healthy, happy and fair working conditions for their people – and for the most part businesses do. 

Across the country thousands of businesses shared their concerns with us about the potential impact – many of those genuinely worried about how they would manage the reforms, how they would be able to comply and what they meant for their people – their biggest asset. 

We have listened to the concerns of the Queensland business community and we have been advocating on their behalf.  As a national chamber network we are working to  ensure these impacts do not go unnoticed. Now we must work to ensure businesses are not left to manage  complex government regulation on their own or without the essential clarity, information, guidance and certainty they need to not only be compliant but continue to secure the safe, heathy, happy and fair workforces they already do.  

This is critical for businesses – and their workforces - to be able to capitalise on the extraordinary opportunities ahead in Queensland.  

Heidi Cooper 

Business Chamber Queensland CEO  

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.