Abbott too cautious on IR: ACCI

AAP, with a staff reporter

A key industry group has accused Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of only "dipping his toe" into workplace relations, after the release of a policy they say does little for small business.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) said the opposition's industrial policy was "too cautious, too modest".

"Tony Abbott has dipped his toe in the necessary process of reforming Australia's employment laws but unfortunately, most of Australian industry would still be left saddled by the Gillard government's Fair Work laws even with this policy in place," ACCI chief exceutive Peter said. 

Mr Anderson said the unionised sector would benefit from changes to union right of entry provisions, right to strike laws, and measures such as the crackdown of union corruption and thuggery in the building industry.

However, for small business he said there was not much to be excited about.

"There is no indication that Australia's small business community would be left with anything other than one sized fits all rules and the collective bargaining approaches that underpin the current fair work laws," Mr Anderson said.

"There is no prospect on the horizon of changes to unfair dismissal laws (and) there is no alternative proposals about the way in which penalty rates can be addressed and dealt with."

Mr Anderson was unimpressed with the coalition's pledge to have the Productivity Commission review the industrial relations system, saying small business should not have to wait three or four years "before they get their measure of industrial relations justice".

He also questioned Mr Abbott's push for a greater take-up of individual flexibility arrangements, saying it was not going to make "any material difference".

"It is a serious disappointment to the Australian business community that there is no real step taken in this policy to put individual agreement making back into the centre of the Australian industrial relations system," Mr Anderson said.

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