A Senate Inquiry into the Government’s Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 (Bill) to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), and health and safety legislation, is continuing. While the Government was looking to pass the Bill in full, this year, this appears problematic.
We provide the following update.
Tony Burke, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, has said that the four major elements of the Closing Loopholes Bill are criminalising wage theft, introducing minimum standards for workers in the gig economy, closing the forced permanent casual worker loophole and closing the labour hire loophole. A summary of the explanatory memorandum can be found here.
The Government had been seeking that all the changes in the Bill, some of which are more controversial than others, be made together.
However, on 9 November 2023, Senators Jacqui Lambie and David Pocock secured support in the Senate for four private senators’ bills that bring forward sections of the Closing Loopholes Bill:
The move by the Senate Crossbench may not bode well for the Closing Loopholes Bill in its current form, signalling that the balance of the Closing Loopholes Bill does not have the necessary support at this stage to pass into legislation, and will likely be subjected to an extended period of scrutiny into 2024.
We will keep you up to date with developments.
If you have any queries or require any advice in relation to employment and industrial relations issues, our Employment, Workplace Relations and Safety team at McCabes Lawyers is able to assist, please feel free to get in touch.
On 10 November 2023 the NSW Personal Injury Commission released its decision in Fajloun v Allianz Australia Insurance Limited  NSWPICMP 534.