The Federal Government has announced that it will make further changes to bargaining and right of entry provisions in the Fair Work Act to incorporate some additional recommendations from the Fair Work Act Review.
The Government proposes to address the concerns arising from bargaining for greenfields agreements, by introducing good faith bargaining and giving additional powers to the Fair Work Commission to resolve greenfields bargaining when the parties reach an impasse. Changes to right of entry laws are likely to be welcomed by employers, with the Government proposing to give the Fair Work Commission greater powers to resolve disputes relating to the frequency of right of entry visits in response to concerns that such visits are becoming increasingly excessive.
These proposed changes form part of the “second tranche” of the Government’s response to last year’s Fair Work Act Review and are subject to further consultation before they are introduced as legislation into Parliament. The announcement from Minister Shorten on 8 March 2013 follows the proposed changes we mentioned in our February Update to address workplace bullying and extend flexible work provisions and since then the Government has also announced it intends to amend the Modern Award objectives as mentioned in the Modern Awards article above.