The Closing Loopholes Bill (part 2) passes Parliament

ETU members have had another MASSIVE win in our campaign to secure better wages and workers’ rights! Thanks to the pressure of people like you, the Albanese Federal Government (with the support of the Greens, Lydia Thorpe, and David Pocock) have passed the remaining parts of the Closing Loopholes Bill.

The Closing Loopholes Bill was put before the Australian Parliament under the Albanese Government. Its purpose it is to improve workplace laws and close the industrial loopholes that have been used by big business to exploit workers and drive down wages and conditions.

In February of this year, the second part of the Closing Loopholes Bill passed Parliament. The highlights are:

Every casual worker who has worked for their employer at least 6 months (or 12 months in the case of small business) will have the right to request to be made permanent.

Currently, union officials can exercise a right of entry to workplaces to investigate potential breaches of the Fair Work Act with 24 hours’ notice or if the Fair Work Commission waives this requirement because of concerns about possible document destruction. The bill expands the grounds to waive the 24 hours’ notice if the FWC is satisfied that the suspected contravention involves the underpayment of wages of a union member who works there.

The right to disconnect will prevent employees being punished for refusing to take unreasonable work calls or answer emails in their unpaid personal time.

  1. New rights for labour hire workers (same job, same pay)
  2. Criminalising and increasing fines for wage theft
  3. Strong new rights for workplace delegates
  4. Stronger workplace safety laws, including industrial manslaughter and better rights for injured workers
  5. Protections for domestic violence survivors
  6. Redundancy rights for those working in small businesses
  7. Big business campaigned hard spent millions to try and stop these new rights. But we are never going to give up fighting for better rights for workers.

You can read more about the Closing Loopholes part 1 wins here.

This is a huge step forward for working people in Australia, a move towards fairness and better wages and conditions.

A big thankyou to all those who have generously shared their experiences and stories so far. Sharing our stories and having our voices hear loud and clear is working. ETU members will not stop and will continue to fight, together for a fair and bright future.

This article was publised on 29 February 2024.