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Industrial Relations Law Reform Agendas

11 November 2022 | Australia
Legal Briefings – By Wendy Fauvel

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Following the Federal Election promises made in mid-May 2022 by the Australian Labor Party (ALP), and the recent introduction of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill 2022 (Cth), industrial relations law reform is imminent.

We have been tracking these commitments and proposed legislation for many months in the ALP and Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Industrial Relations Law Reform Agenda. This document contains a broad summary of the proposed industrial relations reforms publicly announced by the ALP prior to the Federal Election, and updates their position as publicly announced since that time. The document also contains a summary of the policy positions of the ACTU. Additionally, the Agenda canvasses the key developments from the Jobs and Skills Summit held by the ALP on 1 and 2 September 2022 with various employer and employee representatives, academics and other representatives to look at ways to increase wages, productivity and job security. We will continue to closely watch developments and track the ALP and ACTU’s commitments in the Agenda as we see these promises transform into realised outcomes.

The Agenda looks at potential law reform in areas such as:

  • Bargaining and industrial action;
  • Dispute resolution;
  • ‘Insecure work’ including casual employees, fixed term employees, and labour hire;
  • Right of entry;
  • Transfer of business;
  • Expanding the National Employment Standards and paid parental leave;
  • Reforms targeted at increasing wages and looking at gender pay;
  • The modern award system;  
  • Transfer of business;
  • Sexual harassment, general protections, bullying, discrimination and unfair dismissal;
  • Whistleblowing;
  • Sham contracting, underpayments and accessorial liability;
  • Superannuation;
  • The gig economy and contractors;
  • Industry specific industrial relations policies;
  • Efforts to increase union representation in workplaces;
  • Regulators in the FWO; and
  • Initiatives on relation to skills and addressing labour shortages.

If you would like to be considered for a copy of our Agendas, please contact: Wendy Fauvel

This article was originally published on 16 Feburary 2022.

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