The impact of the Federal Government's Fair Work system is just one of the issues keeping Australian CEOs awake at night, according to the latest CEO Pulse Report.
A survey of 75 CEOs of organisations with a turnover of $100 million has exposed the key issues Australian CEOs are concerned about in 2010, despite most remaining optimistic about the economy over the next 12 months.
The March Business Spectator Accenture CEO Pulse Report says 52 per cent of CEOs surveyed are worried about their ability to source skilled staff, up from 41 per cent the previous month. Other issues on the minds of CEOs include increasing competition, changes in customer demand, managing staff under the new industrial relations laws and the legislative response to climate change.
Sixty-eight per cent of CEOs do not think the Federal Government's new Fair Work industrial relations system will have any impact on their business. However, the Pulse Report points out that one in four CEOs think the Fair Work system will have a negative impact and approximately seven in ten CEOs surveyed expect the Fair Work to result in a decrease in flexibility for them as an employer and an increase in the cost of labour within the organisation.
The Pulse Report also examined CEO preferences regarding the Rudd Government and Opposition's proposed paid parental leave policy. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has proposed a scheme of six months leave, paid at the parent's salary with a cap of $150,000 while the Rudd Government has committed to an 18-week scheme paying the primary carer $544 a week.
More than one third of CEOs surveyed said they prefer the Rudd Government's policy compared to 12 per cent who say they prefer Tony Abbott's, while almost a third of CEOs believe there should be no legislation because parental leave arrangements should be determined by individual organisations.