IR bill critics holding up progress: PM

A business-backed ad blitz and suggestions they're doing the union movement's bidding won't stop the government pushing on with its workplace law overhaul.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday accused opponents of "standing in the way of progress", staring down fierce criticism of elements of the government's bill, particularly the inclusion of multi-employer bargaining.

The bill has passed the lower house and will be debated in the Senate in the next fortnight as the government pushes to pass the laws by the end of the year.

"(There are) those who have an ingrained ideological objection to workers being paid fairly for their contribution, who somehow believe the only way to grow the economy is to limit opportunity and diminish security," Mr Albanese said in a speech to the International Trade Union Confederation in Melbourne.

"We know there are always those who say any improvement in workers' pay, any improvement in the status quo, will see the sky fall in ... they say it every time, and they are wrong every time."

Opposition to the changes has grown in volume, with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry launching an advertising blitz arguing it will cost workers jobs rather than lift wages.

Cabinet minister Murray Watt told parliament he respected the fact that some industries were running a "political campaign" against the laws.

"They have every right to do so," he said.

"But they also have a responsibility to put facts on the table rather than put facts and figures out there that have no basis in reality."

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley labelled the Labor bill a "push to ram through new laws to pay back trade unions for millions in donations".

"The National Retail Association has warned retailers will be forced to pass on increased costs to Australians when they go shopping this Christmas, making a bad cost-of-living situation worse," she told parliament.

"Can the minister for small business name one small business who has told her they support these radical new laws?"

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said the opposition's stance was unsurprising.

"Look at the name of the bill - Secure Jobs, Better Pay - that's why we support it and that's why they oppose it," he told parliament.

"It removes red tape, it improves industry standards, it allows workers to graduate from that lower-paid bargaining stream through to single interest."

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie again suggested the government split the bill to quickly pass changes that had broad agreement.

"We (can) come back to the other 10 or 15 per cent of it after Christmas, simple as that, it won't make a goddamn difference to rising wages," she told Nine's Today program.

But the government has indicated separating contentious elements like multi-employer bargaining defeated the purpose of the bill.

It appears likely the Senate will sit this and next Friday in order to pass the bill.