The passage of the Fair Work Amendment (Abolition of 4 Yearly Reviews of Modern Awards and Other Measures) Bill 2017 Bill through Parliament has been complicated due to a Labor proposal to amend the Bill to include provisions which would overturn the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) Penalty Rates Decision in February 2017.

The Bill would:

  • Abolish 4 yearly Reviews of Awards; and
  • Give the FWC more discretion to overlook minor procedural non-compliance in the enterprise agreement-making process, provided that the employees are unlikely to have been disadvantaged.

Reportedly there are around 70 enterprise agreements currently held up in the FWC due to minor discrepancies in the wording of the Notice of Employee Representational Rights distributed by each employer during bargaining. Unless the Bill is passed by Parliament, the FWC will need to reject each agreement.

In addition, unless the Bill is passed, a new 4 Yearly Review of Awards is required to commence as soon as practicable after 1 January 2018 notwithstanding the fact that the current 4 Yearly Review that commenced in early 2014 is still continuing and is a long way from being completed.

Earlier this year Ai Group has made a detailed submission on the Bill to a Senate inquiry and Ai Group is continuing to urge all Senators to support the passage of the Bill through Parliament.

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

If you would like assistance in participating the review of the modern awards or interpreting the 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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