Thinking | 20 November 2020
Imminent reforms to industrial relations in Australia
By Karl Rozenbergs and Anthony Hallal
Australia’s industrial relations regime is expected to undergo substantial reforms during the coming months.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Business Council of Australia that a set of industrial relations reforms will be introduced to Parliament before Christmas 2020.
The reforms are intended to strengthen job growth in an economy still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
Scott Morrison warned that ‘there won’t be sweeping praise from the union movement and businesses won’t see their version of an industrial utopia either’. However, it is expected that the changes will be more favourable to businesses on balance.
The reforms are likely to address the following elements of Australia’s industrial relations landscape:
- the enterprise agreement system, including the Better Off Overall Test which is expected to become less rigid and more focused on practical substance;
- modern awards, which are expected to be simplified;
- casual and fixed-term employees;
- compliance and enforcement mechanisms; and
- greenfields agreements impacting projects like mines and infrastructure developments.
Stay tuned – our team of industrial relations experts will keep you informed as the reforms progress through Parliament.
You might be also interested in...
Employment & Workplace Relations | 27 Nov 2020
Health & Community Law Alert: is the status quo out of step with community expectations? Fair Work Commission to hear case seeking pay rise for aged care employees
The Health Services Union has launched a case seeking to raise the minimum wages of all aged care employees covered by the Aged Care Award 2010 by 25%.
Employment & Workplace Relations | 1 Dec 2020
Employers for many months have been struggling to understand and ensure compliance with the decision of the Full Federal Court in May on WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato. This could all be reversed, however, as the High Court has now granted WorkPac special leave to appeal the decision.