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New amendments proposed to Fair Work Act

May 21, 2018

By Alex Millman and Lindsay Carroll, NRA Legal

This morning, Greens MP Adam Bandt introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Making Australia More Equal) Bill 2018.

This is the fourth set of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 that Mr Bandt has proposed so far this year, and the third he has proposed in the autumn months.

Although the name of the proposal may cause minds to harken to Iceland’s landmark gender pay equality legislation of late last year, the Bill in truth deals with workers who are not ‘employees’, such as contractors, secondees, or labour hire workers.

If passed, the Bill will grant the Fair Work Commission the power to order that the terms and conditions of the Fair Work Act 2009, a modern award, or an enterprise agreement apply to the worker.

In the context of the retail and fast food industries, this would mean that drivers for meal delivery apps such as Deliveroo and Foodora (and yes, Uber Eats) would be able to make an application to have the Fast Food Industry Award 2010 apply to them.

The follow-on ramifications – such as which food outlet would be the ‘employer’ – are unclear.

What is clear is that this Bill, if passed, would cause a seismic shift in the gig economy and those businesses which engage with it.

We will keep our members posted on any developments as they happen. Click here to subscribe to our mailing list for frequent updates.

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