The Morrison government is weighing up allowing part-time workers to be employed for extra hours without overtime.
The small business lobby wants to remove parts of some awards which require overtime to be paid if employees work beyond set rosters.
Part-time staff would be able to earn overtime if they took on more than a full-time load and would need to agree to working beyond their roster.
Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter, who is also attorney-general, said current arrangements meant workers could be denied extra hours.
He said employees might be willing do to extra hours at normal rates but shifts are not offered because overtime applied.
“Now, that’s bad for jobs and job growth. That’s bad for the business. It’s bad for the employer,” Mr Porter told 6PR radio on Wednesday.
The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia is calling for the change as part of a wider proposal before the government’s industrial relations working groups.
Mr Porter said there was a range of views within the groups, which comprise union and business representatives, on how to fix the issue.
“Our job is to work out what type of solution you’d put in place in that situation that is mutually beneficial for the employer and for the employee and fixes the problem.”
COSBOA has also floated introducing one set of rates for weekdays and another for weekends, taking in all loadings and penalties.
Mr Porter said the government was trying to strike a consensus on award simplification.
“Ultimately, nothing is going to be considered unless there is a clear common-sense view that it can grow jobs,” he said.
The industrial relations working groups will soon wrap up after hundreds of hours of meetings about reform.
Productivity Commission chair Michael Brennan told an economic forum on Wednesday workplace relations rule changes were an “important policy lever” warranting further attention.
“Giving firms and employees the space to work out arrangements that achieve their shared goals while protecting minimum conditions,” he said.
Meanwhile, 93 per cent of Australians want to continue working from home after the coronavirus pandemic.
The first Work From Home Sentiment Survey by freelance marketplace Fiverr found people spent an average of $450 each on setting up home offices, which would put the nationwide bill at more than $2 billion.
Around 52 per cent felt they were taking on additional work or doing longer hours while at home during the pandemic.
While about a third of people wanted to work from home full-time, the figure soared to 93 per cent when extended to those who want the option in some form.
Three quarters of people are satisfied with the overall experience of working from home but acknowledged challenges.
The survey quizzed 1007 people about attitudes to remote work.