KEEPING UP TO DATE
Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 – what you need to know about bargaining
14 December 2022
With the change in Government in May 2022, we have seen a strong push to pursue changes to the national industrial relations system to ensure these are applied equitably for all employees. In order to achieve this the Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) has been introduced which varies the Fair Work Act (cth) 2009 (FWA 2009).
The Bill was passed in parliament in early December 2022 and an overview of the changes and implications are included below. Broadly the changes cover gender equity, flexible work arrangements, sexual harassment, discrimination, job security and bargaining.
Initiating bargaining will no longer require a majority support determination rather single interest bargaining, co-operative workplace bargaining and supported bargaining authorisation. The Fair Work Commission’s involvement in supervising the bargaining process and the ability for bargaining parties to take protected industrial action and notice periods will widen.
Employers must obtain written agreement from each employee bargaining representative. Further, the Fair Work Commission must make orders directing parties to attend compulsory conference if an order for protected action ballot is made.
Termination of Enterprise Agreements will provide the Fair Work Commission more power to consider whether termination of an expired agreement would be in the public interest by considering a number of factors such as if the continued operation of the agreement would be unfair to employees covered and overall will the continued operation of the agreement pose a prominent threat to the operations of a business and the reduction of redundancies. Any existing agreements would be given a grace period to be terminated.
The new legislation also proposes abolishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Registered Organisations Commission with their functions transferred to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
This brief only provides a summary of the information in the Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022. Employers should not rely on its contents for legal or professional HR advice. For further information and to access a full copy of the Bill you can via the Federal Government Federal Register of Legislation website Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 .
If you have any questions or seeking advice on how this affects your business, please contact our Senior Impact HR Consultants on 1300 474 672 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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