Closing Loopholes Legislation Update

We have had a number of clients inquire with us in the New Year about the meaning behind the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 ‘Closing Loopholes’ legislation and what it means for businesses. You are invited to read our previous alert sent out just prior to Christmas outlining the significant changes here.

At this stage, the primary businesses who are now affected by Closing Loopholes are those businesses that offer labour hire services. i.e. those businesses sending their employees into host employers to perform work. It effectively provides a “same job same pay” guarantee for employees who work as contractors in businesses where they are providing their labour, not a service. Employers can be forced to pay labour hire workers the same amounts that they pay their own employees in certain circumstances outlined in our previous alert.

That legislation passed in December 2023 so it is now law.

The amendments are complex and require a careful consideration of the actual arrangement in place in order to determine whether the labour hire employee should get the benefit of the same pay and working conditions as those employees who are employed directly by the head company. Each situation should be carefully examined. Osborn Law is able to assist you to navigate through these new laws in order to ascertain the impact of the amendments to your business.

At this stage, the legislation regarding labour hire is in force. You may also hear a reference to a small business redundancy exemption – this will only be relevant to your business if you are considering downsizing due to insolvency. The reference to union delegates is a reference to it now being legislated that union delegates must have reasonable access to paid time for training, unless your business is a small business (less than 15 employees).

However, there is further legislation due to be debated in Parliament which is effectively part two of Closing the Loopholes, which will deal with changes to casual employees, sham contracts (ie calling an employment relationship a subcontractor relationship when it should be considered an employment relationship) and the gig economy.

We will continue to keep you informed on relevant updates however in the meantime if there is anything you wish to discuss specific to your workplace please contact our Employment Team on (02) 4927 2900.