Regulatory Impact Statements are supposed to function as a ‘gatekeeping’ mechanism for regulation. They are supposed to be rigorous assessments of the economic costs and benefits of various options. The Government is so concerned about regulation that it has just announced a review of business regulation – not dissimilar to the inquiry that followed its 1996 election commitment to cutting red tape in half.
Shortly after the last inquiry small business was presented with a new mountain of paperwork in filling out their Business Activity Statements. On this occasion the government has duly presented a Regulatory Impact Statement rigorously assessing the costs and benefits of the new IR package. Here is the entire text of its analysis of “Costs and benefits to employees”
Employees will benefit from guaranteed minimum conditions of employment which will be enshrined in federal legislation. This legislative approach will ensure that no employee can receive less than the minimum conditions set under Work Choices. In addition, where an award reliant employee’s conditions of employment are more generous than the legislative minima, the employee will continue to receive the more generous entitlement. This will apply to both current and future employees who are employed under a particular award.
So there you go. There won’t be any costs of the changes to employees. Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about.