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Upcoming Changes in Workplace Relations Laws


From 6 June 2023 or an earlier date to be fixed by proclamation, changes to multiple-employer bargaining will come into effect. This means employers and employees can be compelled to multi-employer bargaining. Small businesses will be exempted from multi-employer bargaining. If your business and your employees are covered by an enterprise agreement that is within the nominal expiry date, you will also be exempted from multi-employer bargaining.

Members are encouraged to reach out to us if you have questions about the enterprise agreement or the effect of multi-employer bargaining on you.

Other changes will commence on 6 June 2023

Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) – the Commission will also have the power to amend an agreement where this is necessary to address a concern that it does not otherwise meet the BOOT.

Flexible Work Request – employers will be required to meet with employees to discuss requests for flexible work arrangements and cannot refuse a request before discussing alternative working arrangements with employees. If the flexible work request is refused, the Fair Work Commission will have the power to resolve disputes.

Unpaid Parental Leave – employers will have an obligation to discuss with the employees of their request to extend unpaid parental leave. The employer will also need to consider and inform the employee in writing within 21 days if there is any other period of extension they would be willing to agree to. If the employer refuses a request, the employer will need to provide reasons in writing within 21 days of the request.

If you have any questions in relation to these changes or need assistance with enterprise agreements, please contact our Workplace Relations and Legal Team on (02) 6175 5900.