This morning, the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 (Cth) passed both houses of Parliament. The Bill introduces a number of changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) that are intended to lift wages, improve job security and close the gender pay gap. Our previous article on these changes can be found here.

The last week saw some further negotiation in the Senate to secure the passage of the reforms this side of Parliament’s last sitting week. Senator Pocock and the Greens were able to secure some changes to address various concerns, including about the impact of the reforms on bargaining and enterprise agreement outcomes for employees.

Those final changes include:

  • increasing the small business threshold for multi-employer bargaining to 20 (single-interest enterprise bargaining stream);
  • extending the “grace period” during which a single-interest multi-enterprise bargaining authorisation can be granted to 9 months;
  • removing the “right” to veto an agreement by allowing the Fair Work Commission to compel a multi-enterprise agreement to be put to a vote; and
  • winding back changes to the “Better Off Overall Test” initially proposed to alleviate some of the pain points experienced by employers trying to get an agreement approved.

Stay tuned for further information from us on details of the changes and their commencement.