A new year brings new workplace changes
Theme 2: Modern Awards and Agreements - Your Responsibilities
By Colin Dorber Advocate, Mediator Employment Advocacy Solutions Pty Ltd | Thursday, 24 January, 2013

A number of changes to unfair dismissal, general protections and enterprise agreements came into effect on 01 January, 2013. So here are the facts to help get your employment year off on the right foot.

Fair Work Australia
After the passage of the Fair Work Amendment Act 2012, from 01 January 2013 the following will apply:

  • FWA becomes the Fair Work Commission - its website address will change to www.fwc.gov.au and email addresses will be updated. Phone numbers will not change.
  • The time limit for lodging unfair dismissal applications will increase from 14 to 21 days and the Commission will have additional powers to dismiss unfair dismissal applications and make costs orders against parties, lawyers and paid agents in unfair dismissal cases.
  • While the time limit for lodging general protections dismissal applications will be reduced from 60 to 21 days, employees dismissed before the changes come into effect will still have 14 days to lodge an unfair dismissal claim or 60 days to lodge a general protections dismissal application.


Since 01 January, making enterprise agreements with a single employee is no longer possible and union officials will not be able to act as bargaining representatives for employees unless the union has coverage to represent them.


Bargaining for Single Enterprise Agreements (SEA’s)

  • "Opt out" clauses will be prohibited.
  • Employers will not be able to modify the notice of employee representational rights prescribed by the regulations.
  • In protected industrial action, electronic voting will be allowed in protected action ballots, while employees representing themselves in bargaining may vote in protected action ballots if they are members of a union that applied for the ballot order.
  • The Commission will be required to specify a date for the close of voting in a protected action ballot that will ensure that the ballot is conducted.

Other changes:

  • The Commission will be required to ensure that all modern awards include a default superannuation term and, from 01 January 2014, will hold four-yearly reviews of these terms.


So make one of your New Year’s resolutions to implement these changes to ensure you stay on the Fair Work Commission’s nice list.

Colin Dorber E: colin@eas.com.au

EAS has operated for over 10 years along the Australian eastern seaboard representing over 250 companies. Colin is a highly skilled Industrial Relations Advocate who together with his team of performance appraisal specialists and consultants, provide state of the art employment relations and quality industrial advice across a variety of industries.   


Need more tips? Then see our previous articles
Theme 1: Employer Workplace Help
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Theme 2: Modern Awards and Agreements - Your Responsibilities
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