Closing dates fast approaching – have your say about
the Fair Work Act and Modern Awards
The closing dates for submissions to the Fair Work Act
Review and applications to the 2012 Modern Award Review are very
quickly approaching. The two reviews are an opportunity to have
your say on a wide range of issues relevant to your business and
The submissions and applications are required to be supported by
evidence; however it does not mean that either review is focused
only on addressing major issues affecting a number of
employers/employees rather it is inviting submissions and
applications to address practical issues that arise at the
workplace level and affect the day-to-day operations of your
Fair Work Act Review
The Fair Work Act Review Panel is conducting an evidence based
review of all issues arising from the operation of the Fair
Work Act, including the impact on interested parties and
whether the objectives and the intentions of the Fair Work Act are
being achieved. The Fair Work Act Review Panel has invited
interested parties including small businesses to make
There are a number of areas for improvement for interested
parties to raise in a public forum:
enterprise agreements, bargaining process and industrial
adverse action, general protections and unfair dismissal
the role of the Fair Work Ombudsman
application of existing industrial instruments and the transfer
of business provisions.
2012 Modern Award Review
The 2012 Modern Award Review, conducted by Fair Work Australia
is an opportunity for both employers affected by Modern Awards and
employers operating under enterprise agreements to raise concerns
and areas of improvements. These Modern Awards will affect the
operation of your business and approval of future Enterprise
Agreements under the "Better-off-overall-test".
This Review allows Fair Work Australia to make variations to
Modern Awards to address a broad range of issues including:
drafting and technical issues such as ambiguity
whether it is achieving the Modern Awards Objective which
includes criteria such as Modern Awards that are easy to
understand, stable and sustainable and promote flexible working
Some of the issues your business may wish to raise include:
certain Modern Awards are overly prescriptive, and reduce
flexibility and increase costs such as minimum engagement of
casuals, overtime and penalty rates
the transitioning of minimum wages process resulting in certain
higher skilled classifications being paid less than lower skilled
the transitioning of minimum wages and penalties are incredibly
technical and complex
uncertainty as to the principle of off-setting and whether an
employer is able to pay an all inclusive rate to cover penalties,
loadings and allowances under certain Modern Awards.
Middletons has identified a number of practical problems at the
workplace level and is currently engaged in assisting our clients
prepare and review their submissions and applications. It is not
too late to make a submission to the Fair Work Act Review or an
application to the 2012 Modern Award Review. Please contact any of
our partners below if you wish to discuss preparing or reviewing a
submission or application.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).