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New Fair Work Bill cuts red tape & instils common-sense

2 March 2017

The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the common-sense approach to enterprise agreements taken in the Government’s Fair Work Bill which was introduced to Parliament yesterday.

The new bill aims to simplify the approval process for enterprise agreements and do away with the four-yearly modern award review requirement.

NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said up until now the enterprise agreement process had been farcical.

“Getting the name of the independent umpire wrong in information sheets can derail the whole process, meaning employees don’t get their pay rises, and employers have to pay twice for enterprise bargaining.”

If passed the new legislation would allow enterprise agreements to be approved despite not complying with minor procedural or technical requirements of the Fair Work Act approval process - as long as employees are not likely to be disadvantaged.

The Bill will also repeal the requirement for four-yearly modern award reviews (although allowing two years for the current review to finish).

“This process has been, and continues to be, extremely onerous for all concerned – including the Fair Work Commission, employers and unions and their members,” Mr Mahar said.

“For such a significant workload, the return on investment is very low – with outcomes focused on more red tape and consequently, even higher costs of doing business.”

Mr Mahar said these two reforms were long overdue and their passage through Parliament could not come soon enough.

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