small business | August 06, 2020

Win for small regional abattoirs

Meat processors with less than 25 staff will be exempt from the state government’s two-thirds staffing rule, in a win for small regional businesses.

Earlier this week, the government announced it would introduce measures making it mandatory for meat processors to reduce their workforce by a third, in light of COVID-19 clusters at meatworks in Melbourne during the first wave of the pandemic in Victoria.

However Member for Lowan Emma Kealy urged the government to rethink its ruling, which would have crippled small regional businesses with few staff, and implement an exemption for small businesses.

She said the exemption announced today would allow small processors to remain open, keeping locals employed and ensuring food supply chains would not be compromised.

“To force abattoirs with only a handful of staff to decrease their workforce by a third would have forced some of them into closure, and the consequences for those businesses and their workers –plus the flow-on effects for the community – would have been awful,” she said.

“The one-size-fits-all approach to this industry was never going to be practical for businesses in our region.

“The decision to exempt meat processors with less than 25 staff from having to cut their workforces is a rational move that will ensure these businesses can continue to employ a full workforce and maintain their vital link in our community’s food supply chain.”

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