Fair Work changes back before Parliament

Analysis

Fair Work changes back before Parliament

A Senate Committee has recommended that the Federal Government’s second round of changes to the Fair Work Act be passed, and legislation has been introduced that will help Australian firms win work on major projects.

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A Senate Committee has recommended that the Federal Government’s second round of changes to the Fair Work Act be passed, and legislation has been introduced that will help Australian firms win work on major projects.

The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee has reported on legislation to implement more recommendations made by the Fair Act Review Panel. The legislation is titled the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013.

These changes will:
  • introduce the right for pregnant women to transfer to a safe job, while providing flexibility in relation to unpaid parental leave so that special maternity leave taken will not affect the entitlement to unpaid parental leave
  • require employers to consult with employees about changes to work hours
  • amend modern awards to reflect the need to provide additional remuneration for employees working overtime, weekends or public holidays
  • provide the Fair Work Commission (FWC) with the ability to deal with disputes between employers and unions regarding the frequency of visits to premises for discussion purposes
  • require interviews and discussions to be conducted in rooms agreed to by the occupier and permit holder
  • provide accommodation and transport arrangements for permit holders in remote areas and to include limits on the amount that an occupier can charge a permit holder
  • enable the FWC to deal with disputes concerning accommodation and transport arrangements
  • give the FWC the function of promoting cooperative and productive workplace relations while preventing disputes.
The legislation also allows FWC to make orders related to workplace bullying.

The Committee has recommended it be passed by the Parliament.



Boost local content

Legislation introduced today by Industry Minister Greg Combet will require all investment projects worth $500 million or more to adopt Australian Industry Participation Plans providing Australian industry with improved access to work.
 
The legislation is titled the Australian Jobs Bill 2013.

It will also establish the new Australian Industry Participation Authority, which will administer AIP plans and a range of programs to improve industry capability.

Combet said well-executed AIP plans would boost local content on major projects, improving outcomes for both project developers and local firms.
 
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