What were the amendments?
Senator Pocock explained that:
The amendments on Sheet 1780 ensure that there will be a statutory review no later than two years after the commencement of the legislation. The review will look at, among other things, whether the operation of the amendments made by this act is appropriate and effective and identify any unintended consequences of the amendment made by this act and whether amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 or any other legislation are necessary to improve the operation of the amendments made by this act or rectify any unintended consequences identified. The persons who conduct the review must give the minister a written report of the review within six months of the commencement of the review, and the minister must then table a copy of the report within 15 sitting days. The amendment on sheet 1781 effectively extends the grace period from six months to nine months by altering the minimum bargaining period. This was something that came up repeatedly in the committee process.
(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table item 1, column 1), omit "3", substitute "4".
(2) Page 6 (after line 8), after clause 3, insert:
4 Review of operation of amendments
(1) The Minister must cause a review to be conducted of the operation of the amendments made by this Act.
(2) Without limiting the matters that may be considered when conducting the review, the review must:
(a) consider whether the operation of the amendments made by this Act is appropriate and effective; and
(b) identify any unintended consequences of the amendments made by this Act; and
(c) consider whether amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009,or any other legislation, are necessary to:
(i) improve the operation of the amendments made by this Act; or
(ii) rectify any unintended consequences identified under paragraph (b).
(3) The review must start no later than 2 years after this section commences.
(4) The persons who conduct the review must give the Minister a written report of the review within 6 months of the commencement of the review.
(5) The Minister must cause a copy of the report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister receives the report.
(1) Schedule 1, item 543, page 183 (line 20) to page 184 (line 3), omit subsection 235(5), substitute:*
End of the minimum bargaining period
(5) The end of the minimum bargaining period in relation to a proposed enterprise agreement is:
(a) if one or more enterprise agreements (the existing agreements) apply to any of the employees that will be covered by the proposed agreement—the later of the following:
(i) the day that is 9 months after the nominal expiry date for that existing agreement, or the latest nominal expiry date for those existing agreements;
(ii) the day that is 9 months after the day bargaining starts, as worked out under subsection (6); or
(b) the day that is 9 months after the day bargaining starts, as worked out under subsection (6).
(6) For the purposes of subparagraph (5)(a)(ii) and paragraph (5)(b), the day bargaining starts for a proposed agreement is:
(a) if a supported bargaining authorisation or single interest employer authorisation is in operation in relation to the proposed agreement—the day that the authorisation first comes into operation; or
(b) otherwise—the notification time for the proposed agreement.
Date and time: 4:55 PM on 2022-12-01
Senator Pocock's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 35
Total number of "no" votes: 30
Total number of abstentions: 11
Related bill: Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022
Adapted from information made available by theyvoteforyou.org.au