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latest news from employers assistance

New Government new Laws

Published 20 Oct 2017

The main announcement has been made and now we await the details of the new coalition Government. All commentators so far suggest that a number of significant changes are likely with employment legislation.  While at this time we do not have the details and positions may change based on the coalition arrangements we can be guided by the three parties policy statements concerning employment.

With Labour at the helm we should expect them to deliver on their pledge to strengthen the role of Unions and collective bargaining. The other two parties appear to have less to say on this topic and we expect that they will support the changes as they are put forward by Labour. The Labour Party reference to ‘Fair Pay Agreements’ could suggest a move to the labour market system in place in Australia or possibly a legislative minimum covering all terms and conditions of employment.

All the coalition partners share a belief that the minimum wage should be increased.  There have been a number of messages about this with comments on the ‘living wage’ and a suggested minimum rate of $20 per hour being put forward. It would be reasonable to assume that the minimum wage will move in the short term but by just how much remains to be seen, although Labour has quoted a rate of $16.50 per hour as a first step.

The other main shared pledge is to strengthen the employment rights of those engaged in casual and fixed term positions, extending to seasonal work, labour hire arrangements and dependant contractors. Together with this we may see greater employee protection in cases of business restructure and redundancy.  The overall thrust of these policies is to reduce the perceived adverse effects of the casualisation of the workforce and to increase job security. We should expect that the current 90 day trial period will be significantly amended or removed as a first step.

We will keep you advised as the new Government’s employment policies are developed.