Will changes to the Fair Work Act make it harder for you to do business?

Is your business prepared for the upcoming changes to the Fair Work Act taken effect on 1 January 2014?

Are the business policies up to date?

There are a number of changes to the Fair Work Act that you need to be across.

New anti-bullying measures

Employees who are being bullied at work will be able to apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying. The Fair Work Commission will have to start dealing with the matter within 14 days.

Changes to right-of-entry rules

These changes affect the rights and powers of officials of organisations who have entry permits to enter businesses. The changes will mean that:

  • interviews and discussions with employees must be held in an area that the business and permit holder agree to (lunch rooms can be used if no agreement can be reached)
  • the Fair Work Commission will be able to deal with disputes about the frequency of visits
  • the Fair Work Commission will be able to:
    • deal with disputes about accommodation and transport arrangements
    • ensure appropriate conduct by permit holders while they are receiving accommodation or being transported under the arrangements.

Genuine consultation on changes to rosters and hours of work

All awards and agreements will have to include a term that requires employers to genuinely consult with their employees about changes to their regular roster and ordinary working hours. When employers want to change an employee’s regular roster or ordinary hours of work they will have to:

  • give information to employees about the changes
  • invite employees to air their views about how the changes will affect them
  • consider the employees views.

Agreements will also require employers to consult about any major change to a workplace that is likely to have a significant effect on the employees.

Protection of penalty rates

The modern award objective in the Fair Work Act 2009 will be amended to protect penalty rates. This will mean that the Fair Work Commission, when making or changing a modern award, will have to take into account the need to provide additional pay for employees working:

  • overtime
  • unsocial, irregular or unpredictable hours
  • on weekends or public holidays
  • shifts.

If you would like to know more or you would like Moreton Bay HR Solutions to ensure that you are compliant, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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