SLIMMED DOWN LOOPHOLES BILL PASSES SENATE
The Senate last week passed key elements of the Federal Government’s Closing the Loopholes Bill, after agreeing to a deal with cross bench senators Jacqui Lambie and David Pocock.
These elements included:
– Reforms to labour hire
– Criminalisation of wage theft
– Make industrial manslaughter a criminal offence
– Create new workplace rights for union delegates
– Better protect workers subjected to family and domestic violence from workplace discrimination
– Provide better support for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder
– Prevent large businesses from claiming small business exemptions during insolvency to avoid redundancy payments
– Expand the functions of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to include silica
The balance of the measure will be contained in a separate Closing the Loopholes Bill No 2, which will include measures such as:
– Casual employment
– Definitions of employment
– Regulated workers (including minimum standards for gig economy and road transport industry workers)
– Intractable bargaining workplace determinations
– Sham arrangements; and more.
The Closing Loopholes Bill No 2 will be debated in the New Year.
For further information refer to link; a joint media statement released by Employer Groups.
We will keep you updated.
REMINDER: NEW RULES FOR FIXED TERM CONTRACTS
As part of the Australian Government’s “Secure Jobs, Better Pay Changes”, rules about using fixed term contracts have changed.
The new rules apply to the use of fixed term contracts made on or after 6 December 2023. The new rules include a requirement for employers to give any employee they are engaging on a fixed term contract, a fixed term contract information statement.
For further information refer to link; fixed term contract information statement.
POSITIVE DUTY UNDER THE SEX DISCRIMINATION ACT
From December 2022, under the Sex Discrimination Act, organisations and businesses have a positive duty to eliminate, as far as possible, the following unlawful behaviour from occurring:
– Discrimination on the grounds of sex in a work context
– Sexual harassment in connection with work
– Sex-based harassment in connection with work
– Conduct creating a workplace environment that is hostile on the grounds of sex
– Related acts of victimisation
From 12 December 2023, the Australian Human Rights Commission will have the power to enforce compliance by organisations and businesses with the positive duty.
For further information refer to link.
OTHER UPCOMING WORKPLACE LAW CHANGES
There are other upcoming changes to the Fair Work Act, including:
– 30 December 2023 – changes to authorised employee deductions
– 1 January 2024 – the right to superannuation in the National Employment Standards
For further information refer to link regarding recent and upcoming workplace law changes that may affect you.
2024 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
On a brighter note, refer to link on the 2024 Public Holidays, for your information.
* a further link is located at the end of each State or Territory for regional holidays.
– Discuss how these changes specifically impact your business.
– Contact us if you have any Questions or require any Assistance.
– Our aim is to help Employers understand the rules and keep up with the changes. Navigating the system often requires specialist Guidance and Advice.
– We encourage Employers to contact us to ensure your business is compliant with current Australian Employment Law. Has your business had a yearly compliance check? Ensure your internal operations are effective and compliant. A solid Employment framework should protect your business in the event of a claim.
– Phone or E-mail, for clarity & peace of mind – so you can focus on customer satisfaction and growing your business.
– We look forward to continuing to work together, supporting your business into the future.