There is an overwhelming case for change to the Fair Work Act, but neither a Shorten Labor Government nor a returned Coalition administration are likely to undertake fundamental reform, according to Adelaide University Professor of Law, Andrew Stewart.
A federal Labor government would establish a single Whistleblowing Act and protection authority to ensure "companies are held to the same standard as unions", according to the ALP, but IR Minister Kelly O'Dwyer says its planned reward scheme could benefit those involved in misconduct.
Just months after employers called on the Coalition to consider installing seven new FWC members, pointedly highlighting the number of ALP appointees, the Morrison Government has announced five new deputy presidents and a commissioner, many with strong links to the business sector.
The FWC will no longer be required to conduct four-yearly reviews of modern awards, while being given powers to approve enterprise agreements despite minor procedural or technical errors, under long-delayed legislation passed by the Federal Parliament last night.
The Fair Work Act should be changed to prohibit full-time, direct employees being replaced by "permanent casuals", according to a Coalition-dominated Federal parliamentary inquiry chaired by former Nationals' leader and ex-Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The Morrison Government has introduced legislation to crack down on "sharp corporate practices" such as phoenix companies and asset-shifting by employers that are seeking to avoid paying employee entitlements.
Employer groups have stepped up pressure on the Morrison Government to prevent casual workers "double dipping" by claiming annual leave on top of 25% pay loading in the wake of a crucial decision by the Full Federal Court last month.