Government should adopt crossbench changes and consult on rushed ‘Right to Disconnect’ proposal

01 February 2024

The Business Council calls on the Government to adopt sensible and substantial changes to the remaining Closing Loopholes legislation, as proposed by the crossbench, to minimise the economic damage to businesses and employees.

Senate crossbenchers and the Opposition today tabled dissenting reports to the Closing Loopholes No.2 Bill, outlining clear issues that needed resolving. 

BCA Chief Executive Bran Black said the Government’s report included a surprise change with the little known ‘Right to Disconnect’ amendment.

“We are disappointed to see the Government try to introduce the ‘Right to Disconnect’ amendment at the eleventh hour with no consultation and no detail on what it will entail, and we fear it will be rammed through the Parliament next week,” Mr Black said.

“The Fair Work Commission has just issued a discussion paper on this matter for consultation and we would encourage the Government to allow that process to be undertaken before proposing any changes to the Fair Work Act.”

Mr Black said the remaining Closing Loopholes legalisation makes it harder for businesses to offer people work, to pay higher wages and to take on more staff.

“This legislation will create significant costs for businesses and result in less jobs and less opportunities, and we welcome moves by the crossbench and Opposition to minimise the worst parts of the Bill,” Mr Black said.

“We remain opposed to the legislation, however we are continuing to raise our concerns directly with the Government, Opposition and crossbench senators and seek substantial changes.

“There are 2.7 million casual workers in Australia and we are particularly concerned that the proposed changes will lead to less flexibility, fewer casual jobs and people not having access to the increased take home pay that comes with casual work.

“We appreciate the crossbench and Opposition for taking the time to consult and for hearing our concerns and putting forward sensible changes, which we encourage all senators to adopt, and there’s no question that the Government has time to turn this around.”


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