During the last fortnight of Parliament for 2017, the Opposition, the Greens and various Crossbenchers endeavoured to have legislation passed that would have led to the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) Penalty Rates Decision being overturned, and would have resulted in the FWC being stripped of the power to make any award changes that reduce take-home pay for any employees.

The Labor Opposition tabled amendments to the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews of Modern Awards and Other Measures) Bill 2017 which would have had the above effects. The amended Bill was passed by the Senate with the support of Labor, the Greens and many of the Crossbenchers. The amended Bill was then submitted to the House of Representatives to vote on the amendments. By a vote of 74 to 73, the House of Representatives supported a procedural motion to defer debate on the amended Bill until Parliament resumes in early 2018. This was critical because when Parliament resumes in 2018 the Government’s numbers in the House of Representatives will be boosted by the recent re-election of Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander in by-elections.

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

Alternatively, if you would like assistance participating in 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 info@aigroupworkplacelawyers.com.au.

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