The Fair Work Act 2009 requires that the next 4 Yearly Review of Awards commence as soon as practicable after 1 January 2018. The current 4 Yearly Review has been continuing for 4 years and is still a long way from being completed.

On 2 January 2018, a Statement was issued by the President of the FWC, Justice Ian Ross, conforming that the Commission does not propose to commence the second 4 yearly review until the current review has been completed and parties have been given an opportunity to consider how the recently reviewed modern awards are operating in practice.

The President’s Statement refers to an Ai Group submission filed on 11 December 2017 which expressed strong support for delaying the commencement of the next four yearly review to avoid the following adverse consequences:

  • The creation of a great deal of confusion for employers, employees and other parties;
  • The imposition of unreasonable resource demands on industrial parties, given that the parties are currently devoting extensive resources to the large number of matters which are underway relating to the current 4 Yearly Review;
  • The risk of unjust outcomes due to:
    • Confusion about the potential award variations being considered by the Commission;
    • Industrial parties being unable to devote sufficient resources to the second 4 Yearly Review, when their finite resources are being devoted to the first 4 Yearly Review.

Ai Group’s submission also refers to the fact that a Bill is before Parliament that would abolish the requirement for the Commission to conduct 4 Yearly Reviews (see article above).

A further Statement will be issued by the Commission shortly providing an indicative timetable for the completion of the current review.

If you would like more information about the Modern Award Review, please contact Ai Group’s Workplace Advice Service on 1300 55 66 77.

Alternatively, if you would like assistance participating in the Review or interpreting  awards, please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne or Brisbane or email Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at

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