New Workplace Relations legislation has been introduced to Parliament

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Closing Loopholes – New legislation introduced

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 4 September 2023.

The Bill gives effect to the Australian Government’s commitment to closing loopholes that undermine pay and conditions.

The legislation includes measures which would:

  • criminalise wage theft and make changes to the Fair Work Act civil penalties framework
  • properly define casual work with additional pathways for casual workers who want to transition to permanent work
  • extend the powers of the Fair Work Commission to include digital platform workers in ‘employee-like’ forms of work, and clarifying what constitutes an employment relationship
  • prevent labour hire from being used to undercut agreed rates of pay
  • allow the Fair Work Commission to set minimum standards and register collective agreements covering road transport contractors
  • expand the functions of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to include silica safety and silica-related diseases
  • introduce an industrial manslaughter offence and strengthen the penalty and offence framework in the Commonwealth work health and safety laws
  • better support first responders in the Commonwealth jurisdiction who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • strengthen workplace protections for victims of family or domestic violence
  • provide greater legal powers to challenge unfair contract terms, and crack down on sham contracting
  • provide specific protections for delegates,
  • provide better representation for safety and compliance issues in the workplace, including right of entry to investigate suspected underpayments, as well as improved bargaining provisions for employers and employees.

For more information on what is proposed in the Bill, visit the Closing Loopholes home page.

Correct at time of publication.