Sladen Snippet: Employers take note - Important changes to the Fair Work Act

Important amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 have now come into effect, resulting in significant changes, particularly for employers.

Greenfields agreements - new process for negotiating

A new process for negotiating greenfields agreements has been established, whereby employers now have an obligation to bargain in good faith when involved in greenfields negotiations. This new process includes an optional six month negotiation timeframe. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement within six months, the employer may apply to the Fair Work Commission for a determination.

Protected industrial action

Under the new amendments, employees’ ‘right to strike’ is not permitted unless bargaining has commenced and there is a majority support from all employees. Employees can no longer ‘strike first and talk later’.

Unpaid parental leave

There is now an obligation for employers to discuss with employees a request for extending a period of unpaid parental leave. An extension request must not be refused unless the employer has given the employee a reasonable opportunity to discuss the request.

To discuss this further, or for more information, please contact:

Louise Houlihan 
M +61 409 835 809
T +61 3 9611 0144