Creating a Voice for the 2.4 million
 

Self-Employed Australians and the

8 million in Small Business


DRAFT
Small business MANIFESTO
 

There are 2.4 million small businesses in Australia providing a livelihood for 8 million people. These businesses are critically important to the health of our economy and the well-being of local communities. 

However, small businesses are trapped in an economic and political no-man’s land, caught between the anti-competitive practices of big business and the anti-enterprise culture of trade unions. Being diverse and fragmented, small firms lack a strong, unified voice. Politically, they lack the direct sponsorship of the two major parties whose prior allegiance is to big business and trade unions respectively.

Socially, small businesses are vitally important to local communities. Their social contribution has long been ignored by social policy makers.

This draft Small Business Manifesto is a call to action and a campaign tool for the self-employed and small business sector. 

DRAFT SMALL BUSINESS MANIFESTO

This Small Business Manifesto is a call to action and a campaign tool for the self-employed and small business sector.  

1.   

Remove all federal and state restrictions on the right of small businesses to collectively negotiate with suppliers, acquirers and franchisors.

2.

Strengthen the Trade Practices Act to require a forced divestiture of assets in any firm controlling more than 50% of market share in any domestic market.

3.

Exempt businesses which employ less that 20 people from:
a. the requirement to collect superannuation contributions by transferring this function to the tax system;
b. unfair dismissals legislation; and
c. paid parental leave legislation.

4.

Exempt family members working in family businesses from employment laws, and remove the requirement for police checks on young family members.

5.

Strengthen the Trade Practices Act provisions dealing with anti-competitive behaviour, predatory pricing, price fixing and collusive behaviour.

6.

Consolidate all employment on-costs for businesses employing less than 20 people into an (optional) single monthly payment made to one entity – a Small Business Employment Agency (a state-based office) to be subsequently distributed to appropriate federal and state agencies.

7.

Restrict licensing fees for all business activities to cost-recovery rates so as to prevent licensing fees from being used as revenue-raising instruments for governments.

8.  

Reduce fees for use of card payment systems by small businesses employing less than 20 people by requiring this reduction be written into the terms of bank licenses.

9.

Strengthen the Franchising Code of Conduct to provide additional protections for franchisees including acceptance of ‘class-type’ actions against franchisors.

10.

Ensure long-term workforce flexibility for small businesses employing less than 20 people by establishing a network of community-based labour supply social enterprises which take responsibility for and meet the compliance obligations of employment in small firms, while developing the skills, career planning and social aspirations of employees.

11.

Assign real powers to Small Business Ombudmen/Commissioners to function as independent public statutory offices to investigate and act on discriminatory conduct against small businesses, and disputes between governments and small businesses.

12. Require the introduction of Small Business Impact Statements in  major policy initiatives and major project developments

Comments on the draft Manifesto are welcome and should be sent using the online form below.

HOW TO BECOME INVOLVED

We will use the Manifesto as one tool in developing a public voice and tool for political influence for self-employed people and their small businesses.

Fill in the online form below to give your views on the draft Manifesto.

Register your interest in our campaign for voice and representation for self-employed people and small business using the form below or here.

Information on our  campaign is available here.

We will aim to get every MP around the country to push for implementation of the points in this Manifesto, and we will monitor their efforts in doing so (as well as their parties). 

CLICK HERE to complete our small business survey.

REGISTRATION OF INTEREST FORM

Name


Email

Phone  (bh)    
         (ah) 

Address

  


  I am interested in a voice for self-employed people
and small businesses.

Name of business


Tell us about your business:


My federal electorate is: 




Tell us what you think of the draft Small Business Manifesto: 
 
 

What should be added to the draft Small Business Manifesto: 
 



  I would like to join the Leadership Council to guide the
development of voice and representation for the sector.

Name

 

Tell us about your interest in being on the Council:

 

 

© Centre for Civil Society 2012-2013