On 25 August 2017, Ai Group appeared before a Senate Committee which inquired into the Greens’ Fair Work Amendment (Pay Protection) Bill 2017. In its submission to the inquiry, Ai Group expressed opposition to the Bill given the uncertainty that it would create and the loss of flexibility that would result for employers and employees.
The Bill would amend the Fair Work Act (FW Act) to:
- Require that where an enterprise agreement applies to an award-covered employee, the ‘full rate of pay’ payable to the employee under the agreement must not be less than the full rate of pay payable to the employee under the relevant award. The ‘full rate of pay’ is defined in the FW Act to include penalties, loadings, allowances and any other separately identifiable amount.
- Require that where an enterprise agreement applies to an award-free casual employee, the casual loading payable to an employer under the enterprise agreement must not be less than the casual loading payable to the employee under the national minimum wage order.
- Extend the above requirements to enterprise agreements regardless of whether they were made before, on or after the commencement of the proposed amendment.
In the report arising from the inquiry, the Majority of Senators (including the Government Senators and the Opposition Senators) recommended that the Bill be rejected by 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 structuring employment arrangements across full-time, part-time and casual employees, please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne or Brisbane or email Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.