The Fair Work (Amendment) Bill 2014 (Cth), which we have previously reported on, has been passed by the House of Representatives. The Bill now awaits approval by the Senate. In July, we reported that the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment recommended to the Senate that it pass the Bill without any amendments. Accordingly, it is almost certain that the Bill will be passed on the next Senate sitting date.
The Bill, in the words of the Attorney-General, "protects and restores" the rights of the individual in the workplace. As discussed in our March and May Updates, the Bill prevents unions from taking greenfields agreements to the Fair Work Commission unless they have negotiated with an employer for three months. It also prohibits unions from entering workplaces unless they are covered by an enterprise agreement or are invited onto the premises by a member. It also expands the matters to which an IFA applies and dilutes the power of unions to limit their application. The Bill is expected to become law before the end of the year.