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Key Implications of the Federal Election for Workplace Relations

Posted May 24, 2022

On 21 May 2022, it was announced that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) had won the 2022 Federal Government Election, with Anthony Albanese being sworn in on 23 May 2022 as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister.

While the ALP looks set to hold the majority in the House of Representatives with at least 76 seats, to pass legislation through the Senate, it will likely require the support of either the Greens or Coalition, plus any one of the cross benchers.

As part of the ALP’s election campaign, it outlined substantial areas of business-related reforms. This included significant changes to workplace relations, particularly around the topic of ‘insecure work’.

There was also a commitment that the ALP would convene an ‘employment summit’ to “bring employers and unions together to collaborate on secure work and to ensure enterprise bargaining works effectively“.

The reform agenda will undoubtedly impact employers in the hair and beauty sectors and HABA will ensure members are informed about key changes.

Importantly, HABA will also continue to work closely with our partner, Ai Group, to ensure that the perspective of employers in the hair & beauty sectors is well understood by the new Government.


Overview of ALP’s Workplace Relations Policies

In summary, the ALP’s ‘Secure Australian Jobs Plan’, announced during the campaign, incorporates the following policies:

  • Including job security and gender pay equity as new objectives in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
  • Redefining a ‘casual employee’ to restrict ongoing, regular casual employment.
  • With reference to labor-hire firms – ensuring that employees who do the same job receive the same rate of pay.
  • Giving the Fair Work Commission the power to set minimum pay and conditions for gig workers.
  • Making wage theft a crime.
  • Including a right to superannuation within the NES that provides employees with the ability to pursue their unpaid superannuation as a workplace entitlement.
  • Prohibiting fixed-term contracts for the same role being extended beyond 24 months or two consecutive contracts, whichever comes first.
  • Developing new portable long service leave schemes that will allow workers who move from project to project or job to job within a single industry to accumulate long service leave.
  • 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave.
  • Implementing all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work Report on sexual harassment at work.
  • Public reporting on the gender pay gap by large companies with >250 employees and a prohibition on ‘pay secrecy’ clauses.
  • Setting up an expert panel on pay equity to help improve pay and conditions for women and to hear equal remuneration cases.
  • Improving job security through Government procurement policies.



For advice on this topic or any other workplace relations matter, call the HABA Advice Line on 02 9221 9911.

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