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Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 – what you need to know about flexible working arrangements

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.

Flexible Working Arrangements

The Bill will expand the rights of employees to request flexible working to include those who are pregnant or experiencing family and domestic violence. If an employer refuses a flexible working request, they must provide the employee reasons for the refusal and inform the employee provide any reasonable options of what might be considered appropriate. Employees will now be able to access the Fair Work Commission to lodge disputes for flexible working arrangements that aren’t resolved at a local level.

Suggested actions

  1. Review any policies or procedures relating to flexible working requests to ensure the language is correct
  2. Ensure any procedures include providing reasons and options following requests
  3. Consider training for your management team in how to manage flexible working requests

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 info@impacthr.com.au

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