Death penalty for new AWAs as Parlt passes IR laws

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Death penalty for new AWAs as Parlt passes IR laws

The Federal Government’s transitional IR legislation has passed both Houses of Parliament and the making of new AWAs will soon be officially ‘dead’.

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The Federal Government’s transitional IR legislation has passed both Houses of Parliament and the making of new AWAs will soon be officially ‘dead’.

The House of Representatives this morning accepted technical amendments passed by the Senate, and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced individual workplace agreements (AWAs) ‘dead and buried’.

Demise of WorkChoices

Rudd said the interim legislation was the first step in bringing to an end the WorkChoices laws introduced by the Howard Government on 27 March 2006.

It is possible the new legislation ending the making of new AWAs will come into operation on the second anniversary of WorkChoices in a week’s time.

No-disadvantage test

The interim legislation abolishes the making of new AWAs but allows for interim agreements that must pass a no-disadvantage test when compared to an award or collective agreement and in any case expire on 31 December 2009.

The legislation also brings in the no-disadvantage test to replace the WorkChoices ‘fairness test’ and begins the award modernisation process.

The legislation now requires ‘Royal assent’ and then is proclaimed. The Government wants this done as soon as possible, which should see it happen after Easter. Regulations to support the legislation will also need to be tabled in Parliament by IR Minister Julia Gillard.

Technical and clarifying amendments

Amendments to the Transition Bill moved by the Government on the floor of the Senate are noted here.

The Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum on these amendments is available here.


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