Published on Jan 26, 2021

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Motivated to break down the barriers to job growth and support our economic recovery the Australian Government announced on 9 December 2020 the Industrial Relations Reforms.

The reforms were developed after extensive consultation involving the Government and employer and employee groups to find solutions that will support struggling businesses, as well as protect and enhance the rights of workers.

The Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 is the end product of the process.

The Bill contains a range of practical measures targeting five key areas of the Industrial Relations system:

  • Award simplification – Cutting red tape, improving flexibility and job opportunities in 12 Awards covering the retail and hospitality sectors.
  • Greenfields agreements – Boosting investment in job-creating mega-projects through new maximum eight-year life-of-construction agreements, safeguards and guaranteed wage increases.
  • Casual employment – Clarification of legal status of casuals, while providing a clearer pathway for those working regular shifts to convert to permanent roles after 12 months.
  • Enterprise Bargaining – Reversing the decline in agreement making by simplifying the BOOT test and setting a 21-day approval deadline to help drive productivity gains and real wage growth.
  • Compliance and enforcement – Reducing the risk of wage underpayments and protection of

The Bill will help to regrow jobs especially in the retail and hospitality sectors, which were hardest hit by the pandemic and give employers the confidence to invest and get people back to work.

The Bills can be viewed here Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020.

Detailed fact sheets covering each of the reform measures are available on the Australian Government’s Industrial relations reform website.