1.  Latest Decisions  

Sunday and public holiday penalty rates slashed!

In an historic decision, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has reduced Sunday and public holiday penalty rate structures in awards for the hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy industry, effective from 1 July 2017.

For further details about this changes, refer to our previous blog.

Long service leave and two competing instruments – which one prevails?

The Western Australia Industrial Appeals Court has allowed an appeal by the Public Transport Authority and held that where a WA employee is covered by an industrial instrument that includes a long service leave scheme, then the instrument scheme will prevail, where it is ‘at least equivalent to’ the entitlements in the Long Service Leave Act 1958 (WA) (LSL Act) on an overall basis.

In these circumstances, the instrument scheme would apply to the exclusion of the LSL Act. This means that an employee cannot simply move from one scheme to another, in order to seek a more beneficial entitlement, at that point in time.

The matter has been remitted back to the Full Bench of the WA Industrial Relations Commission for a further hearing.  

To read further about this decision, click here.

2.   Latest news

Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017

Consistent with its election commitment, the Turnbull Government has introduced to Parliament, legislation to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) to protect vulnerable workers by cracking down on ‘dodgy’ employers and strengthening the Fair Work Ombudsman’s examination powers.

To read further on the proposed amendments, click here.

Australian Building and Construction Commission & the Building Code

Construction contractors seeking to undertake Commonwealth funded building work need to ensure that they are compliant with the Code for Tendering Performance of Building Work 2016 (the Building Code).

The Building Code contains a number of requirements for code covered entities, including what is required and what is prohibited in enterprise agreements. 

Construction contractors should also be aware that the activities covered by the Code are extensive, including site clearing, the laying of foundations, prefabrication and site restoration. All contractors should ensure that they know whether the activities they are engaged in fall under the Building Code, and if so, the implications for the application of any current (or future) enterprise agreements applicable to their business. 

The transition period for construction contractors to ensure that their enterprise agreements are compliant with the Building Code has been reduced from two years to nine months.

After 31 August 2017, contractors with non-compliant agreements will no longer be eligible to express interest in, tender for, or be awarded Commonwealth funded work.

Further information about the recent amendments can be found here.