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Preparing for the Fair Work Act

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The Fair Work Act in a nutshell

The Fair Work Act 2009 (‘the FW Act’) was given royal assent on 7 April 2009 and substantially took effect from 1 July 2009, replacing the Workplace Relations Act 1996 in arguably the most significant change to workplace relations since 1904.

Key features of the FW Act include:

* nationally applicable minimum terms and conditions of employment

* a new regime of termination of employment, industrial action and union right of entry laws

* establishment of the super-agency Fair Work Australia

For further detail on the Fair Work Act, click here

Preparing for the FW Act

In preparing for the introduction of the FW Act, employers are encouraged to:

1. Understand what instrument, or instruments, will cover employees in your business

2. Ensure that you are compliant with all minimum obligations  in preparedness for Fair Work Ombudsman workplace audits

3. Ensure that any current provisions for making deductions from an employee’s pay, whether as part of a registered or unregistered agreement, comply with new provisions relating to deductions

4. Update minimum rates of pay in your employment agreements to ensure that they will meet or exceed minimum rates of pay prescribed under any otherwise applicable award (including modern awards from 1 January 2010). These provisions also apply to businesses continuing to operate on pre-reform certified agreements, WorkChoices AWAs and collective agreements entered into under to the FW Act.

Author: Katie Sweatman