Bill's Media Releases

Better protections for one million Australian workers

 State public sector workers will enjoy better protection of their working conditions if their jobs are outsourced to employers in the national workplace relations system, through a Bill that passed Federal Parliament today.

 The Fair Work Amendment (Transfer of Business) Bill 2012 extends the benefits of the existing transfer of business provisions under the Fair Work Act 2009 to certain former state public sector employees who move into the national system through a transfer of business.

 Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten said previously these provisions only applied when both old and new employers were covered by the national Fair Work system.

 “This legislation is a necessary response to the challenge of ensuring certain former state public sector employees who move into the national system as a result of a transfer of business generally retain the benefit of their existing terms and conditions of employment,” Mr Shorten said.

 “Workers can feel a greater sense of security from the passage of this Bill.

 “The amendments will better protect entitlements of employees whose jobs are lost in circumstances including where a state government outsources work or sells assets and they are rehired by an employer in the national workplace relations system to do the same job in a transfer of business.

 “The Government does not accept that these employees should be worse off, or that they should have their entitlements put at risk, simply because their jobs are outsourced.”

 Employees working in the Commonwealth, Victorian, Northern Territory and ACT public sectors already have the benefit of the transfer of business protections in the Fair Work Act.

 The passage of the Bill will extend these protections to over one million public sector employees in the other states.

 These amendments will take effect the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent.