The Minerals Council of Australia has commended the Senate for voting to split the federal government’s industrial relations bill, and passing important legislation, “to help protect Australian workers”.
The Closing the Loopholes Bill intended to address problems relating to labour hire, casuals, gig workers and wage theft.
Under the reasoning that it would ensure workers better conditions and pay, this single piece of legislation promised to implement all changes at once.
Not all of the proposed changes were unanimously agreed upon and some business groups and ministers needed more time to consider all measures.
Crossbench senators David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie argued for the bill to be split.
Four changes will now be made to the Fair Work Legislation Amendment starting from 1 January 2024.
MCA CEO Tania Constable said: “The passage of four private senators bills that deal primarily with workplace safety, is a credit to Senator Jacqui Lambie and Senator David Pocock.
“They are matters that should never have been conflated with the government’s reckless rewriting of the industrial relations law; changes that will wreak havoc on Australia’s small and large businesses, and the broader economy,” said Constable.
Constable believes that it is crucial for the House of Representatives to immediately pass these separated bills which simplify compensation for first responders, expands the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, improve protections for employees subjected to family and domestic violence, and provide clearer rules around small business insolvencies.
Constable said: “These four matters have broad consensus support from unions, business groups, political parties and workers.”