New Workplace laws pose another big implementation challenge
"With the passage of the Fair Work Bill through Parliament employers face big challenges to understand the requirements of the new workplace relations system ahead of the implementation date of 1 July," the Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout, has said.
"Ai Group was able to secure many important improvements to the Bill for employers along the way as well as ultimately some very important last minute amendments, including:
- Provisions which only allow union officials to access pay records of non-union members with the agreement of the employee or by order of Fair Work Australia;
- Workable greenfields agreement provisions;
- Important changes to the bargaining framework to ensure that employers cannot be forced to make concessions during bargaining, and that appropriate criteria apply for majority support determinations and scope orders;
- Provisions which enable employers to retain national long service leave schemes in enterprise agreements; and
- Improved transfer of employment laws.
"Now that the law has passed there is a big task ahead to educate employers about the requirements of the new law to assist in its implementation. Given the current economic environment this is even more complicated for business today.
"We will need to see how the laws operate in practice. It will be some time before the laws are settled and Parliament needs to remain open to amendments if problems arise.
"It is hoped that employers can now look forward to a period of stability in workplace relations. It is extremely costly and disruptive to implement a new workplace relations system every few years," Ridout said.
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