Top Silk confirms unworkable IR changes will cost jobs

17 October 2023

Less take home pay and fewer casual jobs are the likely outcomes of the Government’s new workplace relations laws, based on an expert legal review of the proposed legislation.

Serious concerns with the Federal Government's workplace relations overhaul voiced by large and small businesses across Australia have now been confirmed by one of the nation’s preeminent industrial relations barristers, Stuart Wood AM KC.

Mr Wood was commissioned by the Business Council of Australia to review the key elements of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill.

“Mr Wood’s considered view uncovers the real cost of this radical overhaul of the workplace relations system, with the changes to casual work alone likely to result in fewer jobs and lower wages for Australian workers, Business Council chief executive Bran Black said.

"Mr Wood finds that this Bill will add cost, complexity and confusion to the employment of casual workers and, faced with this, businesses will take steps to mitigate risk, including by offering fewer casual roles.  

“This advice shows that far from closing loopholes, this Bill will open a pandora’s box of problems.

“This means pain for the very people the Bill purports to protect – the many Australians who embrace casual work for its regularity, flexibility and additional pay.

“Casual positions which would now be required to be part time or full time based on the proposed new Bill would take an immediate 20 per cent pay cut. Some jobs may disappear entirely.  

“The BCA urges the Government to halt this Bill, which is the wrong step at the wrong time – coming just when Australians can least afford it.

Link to Mr Wood’s legal advice.


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