How recent Fair Work Act changes affect Employment Relations

Blogging. Social Media. Network. : Stock Photo

As of January this year Modern Awards and new enterprise agreements are now required to consult with employees regarding changes to their working hours and/or regular roster.  These requirements have been added to what previously was applicable to ‘major workplace change’ as a result of the amendment laws to Fair Work Act 2009.

For the employers the consultation would entail:

  • informing  the employees about the upcoming change;
  • gathering  feedback;
  • considering  any views about the impact of the change

According to Fairwork Ombudsman it doesn’t matter whether the change you’re considering is temporary or permanent, if the employee works a regular roster or has ordinary hours of work, you need to consult .

Changes to right of entry

These changes affect the rights and powers of officials of organisations who have entry permits to enter businesses. The changes will mean that:

interviews with employees must be held in an area agreed between the business and the permit holder, or otherwise in the place where the employees of the business take lunch breaks; and

the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will be able to deal with disputes about the frequency of visits, accommodation and transport arrangements for permit holders (for businesses in remote areas), and the behaviour of permit holders while they are receiving accommodation or transportation.

Anti-bullying measures

Employees who are being bullied at work have the right to apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. The  FWC will have to start dealing with the matter within 14 days.

Further information about the new jurisdiction is available on the Anti-bullying pages of FWC website.

Download: Summary Anti-bullying case management model

Protection of penalty rates

The modern award objective in the Fair Work Act 2009 ensures that penalty rates are protected. This means that the FWC, when making or changing a modern award, will have to take into account the need to provide additional pay for employees working:

  • overtime
  • unsocial, irregular or unpredictable hours
  • on weekends or public holidays
  • shifts.

To find out about other changes visit Fair Work website