Australia: Kaden Boriss Employment Law Practice 2016-7
Last Updated: 15 December 2016

Double dissolution Bills finally pass the Senate

Last week, the Senate passed the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill (ABBC Bill) and the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Bill (RO Bill).

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABBC) was first established in October 2005 and was later abolished by the Labour Government (in 2012). The Abbott Government introduced a Bill to re-establish the Commission in 2014, but it was defeated.


The ABBC Bill:

  • Re-establishes the ABBC.
  • Imposes prohibitions on organising or taking unlawful industrial action and unlawful picketing.
  • Increases the maximum penalties for unlawful industrial action and unlawful picketing to $180,000.00 for corporations and to $36,000.00 for individuals.
  • Provides builders whose current enterprise agreements don't comply with the Building and Construction Industry (Fair and Lawful Building Sites) Code 2014 will now have until November 2018 to become code compliant.

Registered Organisations Bill

The Registered Organisations Bill:

  • reates the Registered Organisations Commission, to regulate federally registered unions and employer associations.
  • Bolsters protections for whistle-blowers, which are now defined to include former union members, officers and employees (in addition to current union members, officers and employees).

Highlights of 2016 and the year ahead

In 2016, the Employment Practice conducted employment and discrimination legislation in the Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court, District Court, Fair Work Commission and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In the last year, we have also advised a large national not for profit provider in the environmental industry with respect to the implementation of enterprise agreements for each state and territory business.

In 2017, the Employment practice will assist employers in South East Queensland implement enterprise agreements and continue presenting seminars in our board room on topical employment law issues. We will also be highlighting and promoting our expertise in the area of "affirmative action."

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