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Our Workplace team review the proposed changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 set out in the recent Omnibus Bill that passed through Parliament in late-2020.

Written by Brendan Charles, Seamus Burke, Emma Gruschka, Ian Bennett, Ben Gottlieb, Ariel Curtis, Jessica Phillips, and Lawrence Leung.

In late-2020, the Minister for Industrial Relations proposed a number of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) that are set out in the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (Omnibus Bill).

Reaction to some of the proposed amendments was swift, with the Minister flagging further amendments to what has been proposed as the Omnibus Bill passes through Parliament. This is particularly so in relation to the proposed amendments to the better off overall test (BOOT) under which approval could be given by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for agreements that do not comply with the BOOT to operate for a period of two years, subject to a public interest test. This aspect of the amendments may be amended in order to secure passage of the Omnibus Bill.

Click on the key areas of reform below for an overview of the new provisions. These changes may not become law until after the Senate inquiry into the Omnibus Bill, which is scheduled to provide its report by 12 March 2021. In the meantime, there will no doubt be further discussion and consultation about the proposed amendments.

The proposed amendments are very much in their infancy, and there will no doubt be further discussions and negotiations between various stakeholders before the amendments are finalised and become law. What is set out above is intended to give you an overview and further updates will be provided as the process continues.

Further information

Please contact our Workplace team if you wish to discuss further or have any questions.

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