The Australian Government has introduced legislation into Parliament to change Australia’s workplace laws.
The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 proposes changes relating to:
- Bargaining and workplace relationships, including:
- increasing access to single and multi-employer bargaining
- amending processes for initiating bargaining and enterprise agreement approvals, including the Better Off Overall Test
- amending the termination of agreement provisions and sunsetting so-called ‘zombie agreements’
- Job security and gender equity, including:
- limiting the use of fixed-term contracts for the same role to a maximum duration of two years, or to two consecutive contracts, whichever is the shorter time period, with exceptions in limited circumstances
- adding gender equity and job security into the objects of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) and relevant objectives provisions
- reforming the equal remuneration provisions in the Act
- establishing new expert panels in the Fair Work Commission on pay equity and the care and community sector
- giving employees a right to disclose their remuneration and the right to ask other employees about their remuneration should they wish to, and prohibiting pay secrecy clauses.
- Compliance and enforcement, including:
- changes to the small claims process and banning job advertisements containing pay rates that would breach the Act.
- Workplace conditions and protections, including:
- providing a framework for flexible work
- enhancing the anti-discrimination framework
- expressly prohibiting sexual harassment in the Act and providing appropriate dispute resolution avenues
- updating the workers’ compensation presumptive liability provisions for firefighters under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
- Workplace relations institutions, including:
- abolishing the Registered Organisations Commission and transferring its functions to the Fair Work Commission and modernising the regulatory powers framework for registered organisations
- abolishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission and repealing the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016. The Fair Work Ombudsman will be responsible for regulating the entire building and construction industry on abolition of the Commission.
For more information on what is proposed in the Bill visit the Parliament of Australia and DEWR websites.