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The Federal Government passed the second tranche of the Closing Loopholes legislation this week, introducing key changes in respect of casual employees, independent contractors, gig economy workers, the trucking industry, and the right to disconnect.

In brief

On 12 February 2024, the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Bill 2023 (Cth) (“Bill“) was passed by Federal Parliament after the House of Representatives accepted changes made in the Senate. Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke has promised that the new legislation will:

  • “End the concept of a forced permanent casual by providing a proper pathway for casuals to convert to more secure permanent work and simplify the process for employers.
  • Introduce world-leading minimum standards for gig economy workers such as rideshare drivers and delivery drivers.
  • Ensure a safe, sustainable and viable trucking industry – including for owner drivers.
  • Stop unpaid overtime for workers through a right to disconnect from unreasonable contact out of hours.”

So, how does the Bill deal with these issues, and what will they mean for your business?


Click here to read the full alert.

Related content:

Australia: A snapshot of the Closing Loopholes Bill – Proposed changes to casual and gig employment, wage theft laws and definition of employer and employee

Australia: Looping you in – Closing Loopholes (1) reforms

Australia: Call me, maybe? Looping you in on the ‘right to disconnect’

Author

Michael has more than 15 years' experience as an employment law and industrial relations lawyer, acting for clients in a range of industries, including banking and finance, insurance, health and pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, real estate, media and entertainment, information technology and professional services. He has developed and published compliance programs and best practice policies locally and within Asia Pacific. He is the author and a developer of CCH’s Employment Contracts Manager, a software package that builds and tailors smart employment contracts. He has also authored a large number of chapters in every edition of CCH’s Australian Master Human Resources Guide. Articles written by Michael on employment law topics have appeared in the Melbourne University Law Review, CFO Magazine, Human Capital, Lawyers Weekly, Human Resources, and CCH’s Employment Law Bulletin. He has also spoken at events arranged by the College of Law, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and various professional associations. He wrote and produced “Dismissal Impossible,” a training video on unfair dismissal and sexual harassment, for the Australian Stock Exchange. Michael regularly conducts employment-related litigation before State and Federal courts and industrial tribunals at an original and appellate level.

Author

Michael Starkey is a senior associate in the Employment & Compensation team in Baker McKenzie's Sydney office. Michael has over five years' experience practicing exclusively in employment law.

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Sophia Herd is an Associate in Baker McKenzie, Melbourne office.

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Declan Johnston is an Associate in Baker McKenzie, Melbourne office.

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India Kelly is an Associate in Baker McKenzie, Sydney office.

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