The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) is calling on the Government to simplify the industrial relations system and give clarity to small business.

The Australian Small Business White Paper launched last week by the IPA in conjunction with the IPA Deakin University SME Research Partnership, recommends changes to the Fair Work laws and competition policy.

“The Fair Work laws are a source of major confusion and expense for many businesses,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway (also co-author and chair of the research partnership).

“Much more clarity is needed, specifically, over the issue of classifying people as either independent contractors or employees; legislation is required to give more clarity to businesses on the distinction between the two.

“During the IPA’s small business regional roadshow we received a large amount of feedback from small business people about the confusion surrounding this issue.

“Small businesses need a flexible, simplified and streamlined system which encourages them to employ people, instead of acting as a deterrent,” said Mr Conway.

More details of the Australian Small Business White Paper can be found at