ALERT: Respect@Work Bill passes Parliament and Labor secures Senate support for IR Reform Bill
What should I be doing now?
Many clients are contacting us to ask if they should be doing anything. Mapien recommends that you continue to monitor the developments, and we will provide regular updates in the coming weeks. All employers should be reviewing the legislation to identify how it will impact their business – and how they can prepare for and manage the changes.
We will continue to monitor the Bill and will provide further updates once it has passed regarding its likely operational dates.
The Bill was passed by the Parliament today and will come into effect after receiving Royal Assent.
The Bill creates a positive obligation upon an employer to take reasonable and proportional measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment and harassment on the grounds of sex. This positive obligation will require all employers to proactively take steps to eliminate sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination. The Bill also amends the Sex Discrimination Act to make it unlawful for a person to subject another person to a hostile workplace on the grounds of sex.
Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill
|The Bill will now be passed this year after Labor reached agreement with the Greens and cross-bench Senator David Pocock to ensure its passage through the Senate over the weekend. Labor has flagged that Parliament will sit on Saturday, 3 December, to reintroduce the Bill inclusive of the amendments.
Senator Pocock had previously indicated that he held concerns about Labor’s original proposal for multi-employer bargaining. That proposal provided for:
The FWC would be required to consider whether there was a “common interest” between employers to be covered by a multi-employer agreement, and small business employers would be excluded from coverage.
A supported bargaining stream would be created to facilitate bargaining in areas where bargaining is difficult to achieve at a single employer level such as aged care, disability services and childcare. Bargaining would be facilitated under the auspices of the FWC, and an employer specified under bargaining authorisation could not bargain independently with its employees unless agreed to by the FWC.
To obtain Senator Pocock’s support, Labor has agreed that:
Labor has also agreed to: