Home - Federal Labor Government’s proposals for workplace relations reform – Part 1

UpdatesJun 02, 2022

Federal Labor Government’s proposals for workplace relations reform – Part 1

As the Federal Government changes hands, we may expect to see some changes in workplace relations.

Here we look at four key areas in which the Federal Labor Government proposes workplace relations reform:

Institutional change

The Federal Labor Government has pledged to abolish:

It also will give the Fair Work Commission (FWC) powers to set wages and conditions for ‘employee-like’ workers. This is aimed at workers who are common law contractors but are vulnerable to exploitation, such as platform delivery workers. The new jurisdiction will be similar to the old Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

The Government has foreshadowed taking steps to achieve a more balanced FWC. One option mooted by commentators is the establishment of a new federal industrial relations court to deal with wage theft and discrimination.

Pay

The Federal Labor Government will:

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has called for the abolition of the current 4-yearly review of modern awards, which a Federal Labor Government will most likely oblige.

There may be more emphasis on the needs of the low paid, and to enable the FWC to set medium or long-term targets for minimum wages.

The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) (WGE Act) will be amended to require companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap publicly.

It has also been suggested that provision will be made to prevent employers from requiring employees to keep their pay secret.

Insecure work

The Federal Labor Government will:

Commonwealth government employment and procurement

The Federal Labor Government will develop and adopt a Secure Australian Jobs Code to establish guidelines for suppliers to the Commonwealth Government with respect to:

The Australian public service will only use temporary or fixed-term employment contracts where essential, and will take steps to address its own gender pay gap.

 

Tune in to next week’s bulletin to find out more.

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