CCIWA’s input into the Fair Work (FW) amendment Bill currently being debated in Parliament has been highlighted by a bipartisan committee. The FW Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 in Federal Parliament contains industrial relations reforms formulated by five working groups.
A key concern for WA business is changes to the greenfield agreements, which would create greater certainty for major infrastructure projects.
CCIWA has played a prominent role in shaping the work on this agreement through its participation on the greenfield working group.
The Bill also includes reforms securing greater confidence for businesses employing casuals, flexibilities within modern awards and changes to the process of enterprise agreements (EAs).
CCIWA made a submission to the Senate enquiry, identifying:
- Extended greenfield agreements of up to eight years for major construction projects would make Australia a safer and more competitive destination for investment in major resource projects that generate thousands of well paying jobs and have long term benefits for the economy.
- Creating a clear definition of casual employment with the protection against double-dipping claims creates certainty for employers, whilst a legislative casual conversion scheme provides a clear pathway for employees to transition to permanent employment;
- Increased flexibility within distressed industries which will allow part-time employees to agree to work additional hours without attracting overtime payments will provide increased flexibility for businesses seeking to recover from COVID-19 restrictions. It will also provide these workers the option to make up the hours that they lost during this period;
- Changes to EAs will make the process for making an EA easier for the parties and provide greater flexibility in the terms and conditions that can be agreed to, whilst requiring that all employees remain better off when compared to the award. These changes make EAs a more viable option for employers and may help address the decline in the number of agreements.
For a breakdown of the changes, visit our Business Toolbox article here.