On 9 December 2020, the Federal Government introduced its much anticipated amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) to Parliament.

The Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill (the Bill) follows consultation between Government and employer and employee representative bodies as foreshadowed by Attorney General Christian Porter's IR Roundtables earlier this year, and propose significant amendments to five key areas of the legislation. These are:

Category Key Changes
Casual employment Insertion of statutory definition of casual employee
Insertion of statutory casual conversion mechanism
Orders to offset identifiable casual loading amounts
Modern awards Certain JobKeeper flexibilities to be retained for a period of two years
Greater flexibility for part time employees to work additional hours at their ordinary rate of pay
Enterprise agreements Significant overhaul of the better off overall test
Simplification of the FWC agreement approval process
Greenfield agreements Agreements for major project works may have a nominal term of eight years
Agreements with a nominal term between four and eight years must provide for annual pay increases every year throughout the nominal term
Compliance and enforcement Criminalisation of wage underpayment
Increased penalties for serious contraventions and sham contracting
Increased power for the FWC to dismiss an application, including insertion of new power for FWC to make orders about further applications after dismissal

For further details of the proposed changes, please click on each of the links in the table above.

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