More Fair Work amendments — Bill introduced

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More Fair Work amendments — Bill introduced

The Federal Government has introduced a Bill to implement the next tranche of amendments to the Fair Work legislation including changes to parental leave, penalty rates and right of entry.

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The Federal Government has just introduced a Bill to implement the next tranche of amendments to the Fair Work legislation including changes to parental leave, penalty rates and right of entry.

Here are extracts from the Explanatory Memorandum outlining the proposed changes:
‘This Bill makes amendments to improve the operation of the FW Act as explained below:
Family-friendly measures
 
The family-friendly amendments contained in Schedule 1 provide greater flexibility in working arrangements for modern families. This includes greater flexibility in parental leave, increased rostering protections and broader rights to request flexible working arrangements.

Protections for pregnant workers
 
The amendments contained in Schedule 1 are also aimed at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pregnant workers. This includes clarifying the operation of the special maternity leave provisions and providing pregnant employees with less than 12 months service with the right to transfer to a safe job.

Modern awards objective
 
Schedule 2 amends the modern awards objective set out in section 134 of the FW Act to require that the FWC, when making or varying a modern award, takes into account the need to provide additional remuneration for employees working overtime, unsocial, irregular or unpredictable hours, working on weekends or public holidays, or working shifts.

Anti-bullying measure
 
The anti-bullying amendments are part of the Government’s response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment report Workplace bullying ―We just want it to stop‖. Schedule 3 amends the FW Act to include a new Part 6-4B to enable a worker who is bullied at work to apply to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for an order to stop the bullying.

Right of entry
 
Schedule 4 amends Part 3-4 of the FW Act in relation to the location of discussions and interviews, as well as transport and accommodation arrangements for the facilitation of entry to premises in remote areas by permit holders. The Schedule also amends the FWC’s dispute settlement powers in relation to transport and accommodation arrangements and frequency of entry to hold discussions.’
Background

The Fair Work Act Review Panel (the Panel) completed its deliberations and delivered its report — Towards more productive and equitable workplaces: An evaluation of the Fair Work legislation — in June 2012.

The Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 was passed by the Parliament in December 2012 and implemented approximately one-third of the recommendations of the Panel. These included amendments to unfair dismissal provisions, functions of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and a range of technical and clarifying amendments.
 
The Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 also made amendments in relation to default superannuation schemes in response to the Productivity Commission’s Report into Default Superannuation Funds in Modern Awards (Report No. 60). The Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013 (the Bill) will implement several more of the Panel’s recommendations and a number of reforms which reflect the government’s policy priorities.

Details

The text of the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and associated information can be accessed here.
 
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