Today marks eight days since the introduction of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill*, one of the most anticipated pieces of reform on the Federal Government’s agenda.
If passed, the Bill will usher in the most radical change to workplace relations since the introduction of the Fair Work Act in 2009.
The Bill introduces key changes to the Fair Work Act, including:
• Expanding equal remuneration orders;
• Prohibiting pay secrecy clauses in employment contracts;
• Introducing a positive duty on employers to prohibit sexual harassment;
• Expanding anti-discrimination and other special measures;
• Limiting the use of fixed-term employment contracts;
• Strengthening flexible work arrangements (and to enforce such requests);
• Terminating ‘zombie’ agreements approved under the Act’s predecessor;
• Changing the enterprise agreement approval process and the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT);
• Altering the process of taking protected industrial action, and introducing compulsory mediation before protected action;
• Enabling the Fair Work Commission to issue workplace determinations to resolve “intractable” bargaining disputes;
• Limiting unilateral enterprise agreement terminations;
• Introduction of various forms of multi-employer bargaining on an industry or sector level;
• Prohibiting job advertisements that contravene the Act;
• Expanding access to the small claims process; and
• Abolishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Registered Organisations Commission.
While the Government plans to pass the Bill by end of month, the Bill has been more controversial than anticipated and in its current form passage seems unlikely. The Government will need the support of the Greens and one Independent for the Bill to pass through the Senate.
We will provide further updates in the coming weeks as the Parliament debates and votes on the Bill.
If you have any questions on the proposed legislative changes, please contact our experienced Employment and Workplace Law team.
*Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022.