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    as expected that the changes to the Fair Work Act would come into effect from 1 January 2014.

    They have, in fact, been put in place from 1 July 2013 (now) and you are required to comply with the changes. Details of the changes are set out below:


    The Senate has passed the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013, which makes a number of changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act)

    The main amendments to the Act are:

    o The existing right to request flexible working arrangements have been extended to include employees who are parents of school age children, are carers, have a disability, or are over 55 years old. There are also extended provisions in connection with violence from family members.

    o The inclusion of a non-exhaustive list of what constitutes “reasonable business grounds” for refusing requests for part-time work on return from parental leave or a request for flexible working arrangements.

    o The amount of concurrent unpaid parental leave that a couple can take has been increased from 3 weeks to 8 weeks and can now be taken at any time within the first 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child.

    o The right to be transferred to a safe job while pregnant has been extended to employees with less than 12 months service. If no safe job exists, the employee is entitled to unpaid leave. Taking unpaid special maternity leave will not reduce entitlements to unpaid parental leave.

    o Employers are now required to “genuinely” consult with employees regarding changes to rosters or hours of work, taking into consideration their views about the effects of the change, including their family or caring responsibilities.

    o A new obligation has been added to the modern awards objective that the Fair Work Commission to take into account the need to provide additional remuneration for overtime, weekend work and other unsocial hours.

    o An amendment to allow the Fair Work Commission to deal with disputes concerning the frequency of visits by a union to an employer’s premises to hold discussions.

    o An amendment to allow union discussions to be held in lunchrooms as a default where agreement cannot be reached between an employer and union for another room or area.

    o The time limit for applying for unlawful termination applications will be 21 days in line with the general protections dismissal and unfair dismissal applications time limit.

    o Allowing a worker who has allegedly been bullied at work to apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order that the bullying stop.

    John Laws

    HandL Pty Ltd

    The Management Company for


    p 02 9712 1566

    f 02 9712 4168

    e [email protected]

    I receive these updates from time to time from my old friend at ACCA.
    Looking through the above makes you think twice about hiring staff.
    When ever I was employed by any employer there was always an understanding of you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours. It was a matter of trust. Surely society hasn’t gone back to the good old days of them and us, or is this an over reaction by the Government of the day.

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    Working class to my bootstraps, so I have no issue with workers rights, but it’s starting to get ridiculous.

    I have to agree that employing someone has become an onerous task in any sector subject to the pressure of normal supply and demand.

    It’s all very well to have protection and benefits, but what’s the point if only 10 people and a few public servants have a job.

    Seems to me most of the job growth, is in paying people to regulate other people, or provide services to the underclasses (which now includes me).

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    The complexities of hiring has spawned growth in the field of HR. Even though full time positions are rarer than ever HR still appears to be growing.
    Or they could be marketing more aggressively – not sure which.


    • Total posts: 155

    Hi Burgo,

    I’m not sure it is an over-reaction. Alot of the changes are as a result of big legal cases over the last few years. I find the complex part in application is that it starts to get hard to make a decision as an employer.

    I also agree with workplace rights, after all, I was once in that position. I also have staff and I want them to be productive. However, when you need to consult staff on their work and their hours and they can be allowed to have all different manner of time off, then it gets hard to run a small business. Making management decisions is supposed to be about doing what is best for the overall business. That is often in conflict with what is best for the overall individual.

    In one report I was reading it mentioned that asking an employee to do duties below their qualification level could be seen as bullying the employee. In SME’s you need flexible staff who are able to perform both the stated top level tasks in their position description, but also basic tasks. Someone has to collect the mail….

    Anyway that’s my whinge. I suppose as humans, nobody is always satisfied all the time.

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