Reforms smooth path for speedier EA approvals

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Reforms smooth path for speedier EA approvals

Common sense reforms to make the industrial relations system work better for both employees and employers have passed Parliament, reducing complexity and ensuring enterprise agreements and wage increases are progressed as quickly as possible.

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Common sense reforms to make the industrial relations system work better for both employees and employers have passed Parliament, reducing complexity and ensuring enterprise agreements and wage increases are progressed as quickly as possible. 
 
The Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017
 implements two key recommendations of the Productivity Commission Review into the workplace relations framework:
  1. To abolish the requirement for the Fair Work Commission to conduct reviews of awards every four years. The last Four Yearly Review is still continuing after five years, with no end in sight.
  2. To give the FWC more discretion to overlook minor technical errors when enterprise agreements are made and lodged for approval, provided that employees are not disadvantaged.

Simple sensible measures


The Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the reforms implemented simple, sensible measures to fix some clear issues with the operation of the Fair Work Act.  
 
“These are common sense reforms. Under the current arrangements we have seen unintended, and sometimes absurd, outcomes which have caused lengthy delays,” Minister O’Dwyer said. 
 
“For example, the Fair Work Commission has rejected an enterprise agreement where an employer printed the notice to employees at the start of the bargaining process onto a piece of paper with the company letterhead on it, rather than a plain piece of paper.” 
 
“These changes will allow agreements reached between employers and employees to take effect sooner and deliver pay rises earlier.” 
 
The legislation also repeals the requirement to review modern awards every four years, which has proved to be a costly and inefficient process. Instead, in a move supported by both unions and employer groups, modern awards can be reviewed on an as-needs basis to ensure they remain a relevant and fair minimum safety net. 
 
“These reforms will slash red tape, saving an estimated $87 million in regulatory costs, and ensuring the Fair Work Act continues to operate effectively for both employees and employers,” Minister O’Dwyer said. 
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