The Morrison Government's closely-guarded IR working group process - which has included addresses by FWC President Iain Ross and fast food giant McDonald's - is nearing the point where it will become clear whether consensus can be reached between employers and unions on changes to workplace laws.
The newly-independent South Australian Senator Rex Patrick says he will now focus on job creation through industry policy and value-added manufacturing to help Australia recover from the coronavirus pandemic rather than "tweaking the IR rules" as sought by the Morrison Government.
Self-employed people and employers in Victoria who fail to notify WorkSafe about positive COVID-19 tests or confirmed coronavirus cases attending workplaces in the infectious period now face a fine of up to $39,652 for individuals and $198,264 for a body corporate.
Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter will chair five working groups with the aim of producing a "practical reform" of the IR system to help grow jobs as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a significant decision examining how employers can lawfully assess "useful work" when standing down employees, the FWC has ruled a pandemic-affected cruise operator acted "upon proper principles" when transferring some of a superintendent's duties to others.