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The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has released a consultation paper on the Federal Government’s commitment to the proposal that, if you do the same job as a directly engaged employee, you should get the same pay (Same Job, Same Pay).

The Government is considering amending the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) to introduce positive obligations on labour hire providers and host employers to ensure labour hire employees receive at least the same pay as employees engaged directly by the host employer.

The paper outlines the criteria for identifying when a labour hire worker is performing the ‘same job’ as a directly engaged employee. You can access the paper at this link.

The suggested criteria to identify a same job are as follows:

  • duties that align to a classification, job, or duties set out in or covered by an enterprise agreement that applies to the host employer and directly hired employees; and/or
  • the same duties as an employee covered by the modern award; and/or
  • the same duties as a specific directly-employed employee working for the host employer.

The paper provides a proposed methodology for calculating the ‘same pay’. The Department is also considering whether the calculations should be based on the definition of ‘full rate of pay’ in section 18 of the FW Act.

The paper discusses potential dispute resolution options and suggests that the Fair Work Commission should have a role in resolving disputes though measures such as conciliation, mediation and/or arbitration. The paper also suggests the Fair Work Ombudsman could use various enforcement tools to deal with non-compliance.

The Department is seeking feedback on how to implement the Same Job, Same Pay measure before it introduces legislation to Parliament in Spring 2023. Written submissions for feedback close at 11:00pm AEST on Friday 12 May 2023 and should be sent to [email protected].

We will continue to provide updates on the Same Job, Same Pay proposal over the coming months.

If you would like more information about the legal implications of these changes and how they may affect your business, please contact our Employment and Workplace Relations team for assistance.