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Government confirms commitments for 90 day trial periods and Fair Pay legislation repeal

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Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Hon. Brook Van Velden, has announced the government’s commitment to reintroduce the 90-day trial period for all business and removal of the Fair Pay Agreements legislation before Christmas.

The Government is delivering on its commitment to extend the availability of 90-day trial periods to all employers, with Minister van Velden saying “Whether a business has 2 or 200 employees, bringing on any new employee costs time, it costs money and it is in the best interests of any business to find the right fit. The extension of 90-day trials also provides greater opportunities for employees. They allow employers to employ someone who might not tick all the boxes in terms of skills and experience but who has the right attitude, without the risk of a costly dismissal process.” 

The extension of 90-day trials will not affect other aspects of employment relations, such as the requirement to act in good faith, or worker protections regarding pay, conditions, leave, and health and safety.

A Bill will be passed under urgency before Christmas.

In addition the Government will repeal the Fair Pay Agreement legislation by Christmas 2023, moving quickly to remove this legislation before any fair pay agreements are finalised.

National and ACT opposed this law when it was introduced and feel strongly that fair pay agreements would reduce flexibility, choice and agility in workplaces. Minister van Velden went on to say “To increase the wages of workers and ensure lower prices for consumers, there needs to be improved productivity and an environment where business can operate competitively. To lift productivity and drive economic growth there needs to be agile and flexible workplaces where employers and employees can agree terms that suit their unique situation. 

“These agreements were a blunt tool that could be initiated by a union and a small number of employees, yet they applied to every employee and every employer within coverage. 

“We are focussed on boosting productivity, becoming more competitive, and creating a healthy economy. That’s why we’re preventing more bureaucracy from being piled onto businesses and backing them to grow.”

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