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Australian Government introduces further changes to the Workplace Relations Framework

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On 29 March 2023, the Australian Government introduced the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Bill 2023 (Bill).

The Bill is one of many further bills that the Government has indicated will be introduced this year continuing their significant reforms of the workplace relations framework in Australia.

Whilst the Bill is in its early stages, and we can expect variations arising out of negotiations with Independent Senators, this article summarises the changes initially proposed by the Bill.


Proposed Change

Migrant Worker Protections

All migrant workers, irrespective of their immigration status, are entitled to the benefits contained in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Unpaid parental leave

Flexible Parental Leave will be increased from 30 days to 100 days.

Removal of barriers for both parents taking leave at the same time.

Allow flexible parental leave to commence up to 6 weeks prior to the expected date of the birth of the child.

Allow parental leave to commence within 24 months of the birth or placement of the child.

Introduction of gender neutral language throughout the parental leave provisions.


Introduction of superannuation obligations into the National Employment Standards replicating current employer superannuation obligations.

This will provide employees with a further avenue to seek unpaid superannuation.

Workplace determinations

Introduction of an express term confirming that when a workplace determination replaces an earlier enterprise agreement, the enterprise agreement will cease to operate.

Deductions from employee wages

Greater flexibility will be introduced to allow employers to make deductions from an employee’s wages, where the deduction is principally for the employee’s benefit, including deduction of wages that vary from time to time.

This will remove the requirement to have the varied deduction further agreed to in writing.

Coal mining long service leave

Various amendments will be made to the Coal Mining Industry
(Long Service Leave) Administration Act 1992 and the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Payroll Levy Collection Act 1992 to ensure casual employees are treatedno less favourably than their permanent counterparts.

Next steps

As the Bill is in its early stages, no immediate steps are required by Employers.

Employers should stay up to date with the ongoing amendments being introduced by the Government to avoid non-compliance.
MST Lawyers’ Employment Law team will continue to provide updates as further amending bills are introduced into Parliament.

If you require any assistance in managing the change or are unsure how you will be affected by the change, please contact MST LawyersEmployment Law team on 03 8540 0200 or workplace@mst.com.au.