With the dust settling from the election on Saturday night, what changes can we expect to see in the workplace relations field? According to the ALP workplace relations policy, Labor will:

• Change the objects of the Fair Work Act so that the Fair Work Commission (FWC) must consider job security in its decision making;
• Give the FWC power to deal with “employee-like” work so that it can make minimum standards for gig workers and others;
• Restore the common law definition of casual work so that whether a person is classed as a casual employee will be a matter of substance or reality rather than form;
• Ensure that workers employed through labour hire companies or other outsourcing arrangements don’t receive less pay than employees who are employed directly by host businesses;
• Make wage theft a criminal offence where states and territories don’t already have these laws;
• Include a right to superannuation in the National Employment Standards which provide a minimum safety net of conditions for all employees, regardless of job or pay level. This will mean employees will be able to bring their own legal action to enforce the payment of superannuation contributions;
• Limit the number of consecutive fixed term contracts that an employer can offer for the same role, with a cap of 24 months to provide employees with greater security of employment;
• Introduce a Secure Australian Jobs Code to support secure employment for employees working for government suppliers;
• Ensure the government is a model employer and will only utilise non-permanent employment where essential;
• Consult with state and territory governments, unions and industry to develop portable entitlements schemes for Australians performing insecure work;
• Strengthen the ability of the FWC to order pay increases for workers in low paid, female dominated industries. This will include fully implementing all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work Report and legislating the right to 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave as a National Employment Standard;
• Abolish the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) and the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

The government will start by lodging submissions to the FWC minimum wage case with updated minimum wages for federal and private sector employees to be decided by the FWC before the end of June. Prime Minister Albanese also intends to hold an employment summit with leaders of unions and employer associations to collaborate on secure work and to ensure that enterprise bargaining works effectively. These are of course general comments only. Please contact us if you would like any further information or help.