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There have been changes to the Fair Work Act as part of the new ‘Closing Loopholes’ laws.

On this page you’ll find a summary of the main changes.

Key points

  • The Australian Government has passed new workplace laws as part of its ‘Closing Loopholes’ legislation.
  • The legislation introduces new rules and changes some existing laws.
  • Employers, employees and other workplace participants should stay across these changes as they may impact their workplace.
  • The changes take effect at various times across the next year and into 2025.
  • Some changes affect the work we (the Fair Work Ombudsman) do.
  • Other changes will affect the work of the Fair Work Commission. The Commission is the national workplace relations tribunal.

Major changes

The major changes include:

Criminalising intentional wage theft and non-payment of superannuation

This change starts not before 1 January 2025.

Not before 1 January 2025, intentional wage underpayments and non-payment of superannuation will be criminalised.

A ‘Voluntary Small Business Wage Compliance Code’ will be available to small business employers.

Equal pay for labour hire workers

This change starts from 15 December 2023. Some anti-avoidance provisions applied from 4 September 2023.

A framework for the Fair Work Commission to make orders that mean labour hire workers are entitled to be paid the same as employees directly engaged by a particular business.

Discrimination protections

This change starts from 15 December 2023.

New discrimination protections for employees who experience family and domestic violence.

Small business redundancy rules

This change starts from 15 December 2023.

New redundancy payments rules for non-small business employers that downsize to a small business employer during bankruptcy or liquidation.

Workplace delegate rights

This change starts from 15 December 2023.

Introducing new workplace delegate rights and protections, including paid time for delegate training.

Right of entry

This change starts from 15 December 2023.

Removes the requirement for officials assisting a state or territory work health and safety representative to hold an entry permit under the Fair Work Act.

This amendment will be reviewed 9 months after it starts.

Other changes

The Closing Loopholes laws introduce other changes.

These include:

  • introducing a new criminal offence of industrial manslaughter
  • expanding the functions of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to include silica
  • streamlining the workers’ compensation claims process for certain first responders who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Other government bodies will be responsible for communicating about these changes, including Comcare and Safe Work Australia.

More Information

We’ll have more detailed information available soon.

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