Changes to Fair Work Act centred on flexible working arrangements
Reforms to the act are largely centred on flexible working arrangements, in a bid to help Australians strike a better work-life balance.
"The changes to the Fair Work Act will help modern Australian families balance work and home life through measures to increase flexibility in parental leave, rostering protections and broader access to the right to request flexible working arrangements," minister for employment and workplace relations Bill Shorten said in a statement.
Mr Shorten summarised the main amendments to the act, which include:
- Providing carers, workers with disability, mature-aged employees and victims of domestic violence with the right to request a flexible working arrangement.
- Requiring employers to consult with workers when rosters and working hours are changed.
- More rights for pregnant workers and changes to maternity leave legislation.
- Allowing parents to take parental leave together for eight weeks (an extension from three weeks).
- Providing employees with the right to ask to work part-time when returning to the workforce after parental leave.
These changes are part of a greater suite of reforms, which include improved laws to tackle the issue of workplace bullying.
Mr Shorten said that the federal government was continuing to review and design improved policies.
"We will continue to put forward policies to ensure employees are protected, their caring needs are recognised and that employers have the flexible, harmonious and safe workplaces required for a successful, profitable business," the minister explained.