Australia had less need than other countries to turn to legislation to provide short-term workplace flexibility in response to COVID-19 because of "swift" and "bold" yet self-restrained interventions by the FWC, according to new research.
Higher-paid hospitality workers appear set to have their overtime and penalty payments rolled up into loaded rates after a FWC full bench yesterday provisionally supported employers' push to vary the sector's award.
An FWC full bench has approved a Restaurant and Catering Industrial proposal to streamline restaurant award classifications, exempt higher-paid workers from key award conditions for more pay and introduce all-in allowances, but has provided for its fairness and efficiency to be reviewed after nine months.
The FWC's review of awards in sectors hammered by the pandemic is starting to introduce changes stymied by the withdrawal of much of the IR Omnibus Bill, according to former Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.
The Morrison Government has committed to reintroducing the major projects greenfields agreement provisions it removed from the IR Omnibus Bill, while employer organisations are pushing it to revive other jettisoned elements that would have overhauled enterprise bargaining and the award system.
The ACTU says a decision by federal and state WHS ministers to regulate psychosocial hazards will obligate employers to eliminate mental health risks, but has bemoaned their failure to support national industrial manslaughter laws as a "missed opportunity".
The Attorney-General's Department has moved to speedily appoint a new general manager to the FWC, while signalling that a key part of the role is to oversee "significant transformation" of the tribunal's "digital capabilities".