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Significant Changes to the Fair Work Act


Parliament passed the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Act 2023 (Closing Loopholes Act) on 29 November 2023, and received Royal Assent on 14 December 2023. The Act has been split into two pieces of legislation meaning that some aspects of the bill have passed Parliament, while others will be dealt with in the new year.

The date that these changes commence are staggered, with most of the provisions coming into effect on 15 December 2023.

From 15 December 2023 the following changes came into effect:

  • Changes to the rules for labour hire workers
  • New discrimination protections for employees experiencing family and domestic violence
  • Changes to the small business redundancy payment exemptions
  • New rights and protections for workplace delegates
  • Amendments to compulsory conciliation conferences in protected action ballot order matters
  • The removal of certain right of entry requirements

Other significant changes that have been proposed but not yet passed are:

  • Criminalising intentional wage underpayments
  • The introduction of a criminal offence for industrial manslaughter
  • Changes to the definition of a casual employee

Members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the changes introduced by the Closing Loopholes Act as any failure to implement these changes may result in significant penalties and risk to members.

If you have any questions in relation to your obligations under the Fair Work Act, speak to someone in the Workplace Relations and Legal team on (02) 6175 5900.