The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Bill 2023 was introduced to Parliament on 29 March. The Bill proposes a number of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) including:
- The right to superannuation in the National Employment Standards;
- Amending unpaid parental leave to:
- increase an employee’s entitlement to flexible unpaid parental leave from 30 days over 24 months to 100 days;
- remove the restriction that prevents couples taking more than 8 weeks of unpaid parental leave concurrently;
- allow pregnant employees to take some of their flexible unpaid parental leave starting six weeks prior to the expected date of birth;
- allow parents to commence unpaid parental leave at any time in the 24 months following the birth or placement of their child;
- give pregnant employees the option to take flexible unpaid parental leave from up to 6 weeks before their child’s expected birth date, without requiring permission from their employer;
- allow employees to take flexible unpaid parental leave before and after a period of continuous unpaid parental leave.
- Changing how employee authorised deductions can be authorised under the FW Act to allow for employees to agree to ongoing or multiple deductions for amounts that vary from time to time provided that the deductions are not for the direct or indirect benefit of the employer; and
- Clarifying that migrant workers are entitled to the protections under the FW Act.
It is still very early days and a report on the Bill is due from the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee on 28 April 2023. Follow us for further updates as the Bill progresses.