House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2015


Fair Work Amendment (Remaining 2014 Measures) Bill 2015; Second Reading

11:31 am

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The government is introducing the Fair Work Amendment (Remaining 2014 Measures) Bill 2015 because we believe in a fairer and more efficient workplace relations system.

This bill contains the same important reforms the government included in the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014.

Earlier this year, after constructive engagement between the government and crossbench senators, agreement was reached on four of the measures in that former bill. It was decided with the crossbench that, so as to not delay passage of the agreed measures, those measures would be passed while discussions continued on the remaining measures.

This bill, as its name suggests, reintroduces into parliament the six remaining 2014 measures. The measures are unchanged from the former bill.

This bill is being introduced to allow for the continuation of constructive discussions with crossbench senators on these fair reforms that will bring some balance back to the workplace system. The government intends to work constructively with the crossbench to deliver on its election commitments.

The Fair Work Amendment (Remaining 2014 Measures) Bill 2015 implements our clearly stated election policies—nothing more and nothing less.

Many of the measures in this bill were matters recommended by the 2012 Labor appointed Fair Work Review Panel.

As with the previous bill, these measures were part of the coalition government's comprehensive policy document released well in advance of the 2013 election.

By way of high-level overview, the six measures in this bill are:

Part 1: clarifying that, at the end of employment, annual leave loading is paid on outstanding annual leave if the enterprise agreement or award says it is to be paid.

Part 2: clarifying how leave accrues, and how it is taken while a worker is already away from work and receiving workers' compensation.

Part 3: making Labor's individual flexibility arrangement provisions practical and accessible so they can be utilised to benefit employees and employers.

Part 4: adopting Labor's review panel's recommendation in relation to transfer of business to fix an unintended consequence where an employee wants to voluntarily change jobs.

Part 5: bringing balance back to the right of entry laws and giving the independent umpire a reasonable opportunity to become involved and deal with right of entry disputes; and

Part 6: giving the Fair Work Commission, the independent umpire, further administrative powers over its own hearings.

For further details on the bill and these six measures, I refer the House to the second reading speech and debate associated with the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.