/ 08 February 2024

IR reforms get the Green light

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets with his ministry in the Cabinet Room at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets with his ministry in the Cabinet Room at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

The Albanese Government’s ‘closing loopholes’ industrial relations bill will pass after Labor did a deal last night with Senators David Pocock and Lidia Thorpe and the Greens. Crucial to that has been accepting the ‘right to disconnect’ amendment, which means employees can’t be punished for not responding to work calls/messages in their free time. The proposal doesn’t prevent “reasonable contact” if there are things like shift changes to communicate, but it does mean employers could face fines if they’re too needy outside business hours. The Coalition and business groups aren’t happy – they say workers and employers have always navigated these things using common sense. The deal means the government’s broader industrial relations aspirations will be realised after months of negotiations. That includes things like boosting wages for gig workers and giving casual workers more opportunities for permanent work.

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