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The Federal Government has introduced changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) into Parliament with the intention of providing greater certainty, clarity and security for employers and employees.

The suite of proposed changes include:

  1. A legislated definition of casual employment;
  2. A formula for converting employees from casual to permanent employment;
  3. Protections for employers against ‘double-dipping’ employee claims;
  4. Flexible work arrangements for industries hard hit by COVID-19;
  5. Streamlining of enterprise agreement approvals and negotiations;
  6. Criminalising wage underpayment offences.

The relevant Bill is yet to be passed in both houses of Parliament, and there may well be changes made, particularly to some of the more contentious amendments (such as those relating to the Better Off Overall Test).

For employers and workers, these changes will (if passed) represent the most significant changes to the industrial landscape since the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

In particular, employers will again need to look at their employment relationships and contractual documentation to ensure compliance with the changes regarding casual employment.

Employers and employees should also be able to more quickly negotiate and resolve enterprise bargaining issues. Understanding Award coverage and classifications will also be more important than ever to avoid underpayment criminal offences.

Macpherson Kelley’s Employment, Safety and Migration team will be able to assist you every step of the way in relation to the new legislation to ensure that you have the certainty and best practices in place for 2021 and beyond.

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Not a casual affair – Changes on the way for your workforce in 2021

11 December 2020
adam foster

The Federal Government has introduced changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) into Parliament with the intention of providing greater certainty, clarity and security for employers and employees.

The suite of proposed changes include:

  1. A legislated definition of casual employment;
  2. A formula for converting employees from casual to permanent employment;
  3. Protections for employers against ‘double-dipping’ employee claims;
  4. Flexible work arrangements for industries hard hit by COVID-19;
  5. Streamlining of enterprise agreement approvals and negotiations;
  6. Criminalising wage underpayment offences.

The relevant Bill is yet to be passed in both houses of Parliament, and there may well be changes made, particularly to some of the more contentious amendments (such as those relating to the Better Off Overall Test).

For employers and workers, these changes will (if passed) represent the most significant changes to the industrial landscape since the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

In particular, employers will again need to look at their employment relationships and contractual documentation to ensure compliance with the changes regarding casual employment.

Employers and employees should also be able to more quickly negotiate and resolve enterprise bargaining issues. Understanding Award coverage and classifications will also be more important than ever to avoid underpayment criminal offences.

Macpherson Kelley’s Employment, Safety and Migration team will be able to assist you every step of the way in relation to the new legislation to ensure that you have the certainty and best practices in place for 2021 and beyond.