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Employment law legislation update

August 03, 2017

Written by Alex Millman

Members will recall from previous news alerts that there are several pieces of legislation amending the Fair Work Act currently waiting for the attention of the Senate before they can become law.

Foremost among these is the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017, which aims to make franchisors and holding companies liable for breaches of fair work legislation by their franchisees or subsidiaries, and impose substantial penalties for it.

Also before the Senate is the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017 which aims to:

  • absolve the Fair Work Commission of reviewing all modern awards every four years;
  • allow the Fair Work Commission to ‘forgive’ minor technical flaws in the enterprise bargaining process; and
  • make members of the Fair Work Commission accountable to an external authority.

Finally, up for consideration is the Fair Work Amendment (Corrupting Benefits) Bill 2017, which criminalises the provision, solicitation, and receipt of ‘corrupting benefits’ to industrial organisations.

In the Senate’s draft legislation program for the spring sitting commencing on Tuesday 8 August, all three Bills are to go before the Senate on that first day of sittings.

Currently all three Bills have yet to be debated by the Senate, so it is unlikely that the Bills will be passed on that day, however in the current political climate we can never truly predict what may happen.

We will keep our members updated as parliamentary sittings recommence and the legislative agenda moves forward.

If you have any questions or would like more information and legal advice, contact NRA on 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245)

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