As required by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the Fair
Work Commission has commenced its first comprehensive four yearly
review of modern awards this week releasing details of the
preliminary stages of the review. The review presents an
opportunity for employers to rectify concerns and issues they may
have with the modern awards applicable to their business.
A preliminary hearing before Justice Iain Ross, President of the
Fair Work Commission, will be held in the first week of February to
determine the scope of the review and identify any preliminary
issues. Following this initial stage, all 122 modern awards will
then be reviewed in four groups of approximately 30 awards.
Nearly 300 applications to vary modern awards were made during
the one-off, two year review of modern awards in 2012, and it is
expected an even greater number of applications will be made in
relation to the four year review given its broader scope.
Unlike the 'interim' review conducted in 2012, the
current review is not limited to an assessment of whether modern
awards contain anomalies, technical problems or are not achieving
their intended objectives as set out in the Fair Work Act. In the
current review, the Fair Work Commission is able to make changes to
all aspects of modern awards, including minimum rates of pay.
Employers will not have another opportunity to participate in a
comprehensive modern award review until 2018. It is therefore
important for employers to carefully review the modern awards
applicable to their business and identify any areas of concern.
K&L Gates' Labour, Employment and Workplace Safety team is
able to advise whether those issues can be addressed in the current
review and assist clients participate in the review process,
including by assisting with submissions and representations to the
Fair Work Commission.
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.
K&L Gates has been awarded a 2012 EOWA Employer of Choice
for Women citation acknowledging our commitment to workplace
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