The Labor Government’s Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 has passed in Federal Parliament. The Act will amend the Fair Work Act 2009 industrial relations laws and will introduce a large amount of changes in an attempt to:
Some of the changes include:
Perceived as the most controversial part of the Act is the “Multi-employer bargaining” aspect which will make it significantly easier for unions to negotiate pay deals to cover multiple similar businesses.
Businesses with less than 20 employees and businesses with an enterprise agreement already in place will not be affected.
The changes may make businesses act on new enterprise agreements directly with their employees to avoid being made to hold to potentially unpredictable multi-employer deal at a later date.
Under the changes to the Fair Work Act, employees will be able to seek formal arbitration with the Fair Work Commission if their employer refuses to negotiate a flexible working arrangement with them. Businesses will have to provide a reasonable answer as to why they may refuse a flexible work option.
Businesses will no longer be able to rollover fixed-term contracts indefinitely, with changes introduced to allow a maximum of two consecutive contracts, or contracts that span two years — whichever is shorter.
The limitations on fixed-term contracts seeks to provide job security for more Australians.
For further information, please see the Fair Work Ombudsmen’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay: changes to Australian workplace laws page.
If you are seeking advice on how the industrial relations law changes affect you or your business, please contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org.