The passage of the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2021 today is a responsible outcome, ensuring casual employment remains a viable option for business, and employees have clear pathways to permanent work.
By passing the casual changes contained in Schedule 1 and 7, the Federal Parliament has voted in favour of jobs by restoring clarity to casual employment (damaged by poor drafting over a decade ago).
Casual employees across the country who work regular and systematic hours now have the right to request to convert to permanent part time employment after 12 months.
Employers no longer have to be worried they could be forced to pay people twice from double dipping claims, calling an end to $39billion in potential liabilities hanging over their heads.
Without these changes passing the Parliament today, we could have easily seen thousands of jobs lost and businesses bust.
The Parliament must now commit to revisiting the remainder of the IR Omnibus Bill.
Our enterprise bargaining system is on life support – limiting productivity improvements, suppressing wages, and making jobs less secure. If action is not taken, enterprise bargaining risks becoming extinct.
Awards are clearly too complex and ambiguous – they fail to support either small business people or those who work for them. Part-time workers, the majority of whom are women, will continue to be locked out of additional incomes when they need it most.
Greenfields agreements need to be revisited if we are drive investment in Australia and create more jobs.
There is clearly unfinished business if Australia is to have an industrial relations system that works for everyone.