The major changes coming to Australian workplaces - and it's good news for casual workers AND small businesses

I guess there is some good news in it but the attack on casual work is an old push that does not deserve to get up. The labour laws about unfair dismissals and other things are onerous enough to cause many small employers to avoid hiring like the plague. They want to create jobs but risk a lot in doing so

Casual work is however not nearly so rule-bound so many employers hire casuals only. The employer gets a worker and the employee gets a job.

Any restrictions on that can only have adverse consequences. Employers will often fire a perfectly good casual worker just before the period allowed for casual work -- thus inconveniencing everyone -- all because of government imposed rigidities

Casual workers will be the big winners when proposed workplace reforms are introduced in federal parliament this week, but the changes could have big impacts for small businesses.

The proposed shake-up of industrial relations laws aims to provide more certainty to thousands of working Australians.

Staff who have been with the same employer for a year and in regular shifts for six months must be offered a permanent position under the reforms.

More than half of Australia's 2.6 million casual workers will benefit from this change, but it could see less flexibility for small business owners forced to give out permanent contracts.

This means workers will have more job security.

Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter hopes the reforms will end confusion surrounding casual workers.

'With so many Australians still out of work, or doing fewer hours as a result of the pandemic, we cannot do nothing when we have a situation where employers are delaying making hiring decisions ­because of ongoing confusion about the legal status of casual employment,' Mr Porter said.

He thanked employer groups and unions that helped to shape the reforms.

The legislation will introduce the statutory definition of a casual employment in the Fair Work Act, which will include employment being offered without any firm advance commitment that the work will continue indefinitely and follow an agreed pattern of work.

'Our definition of casual employment is likely broader than some business groups had wanted,' Mr Porter said.

'Unions are likely to say we should have made the definition broader still, suggesting to me that we have struck the right balance on this issue and delivered a fair and equitable outcome that will benefit both workers and employers.'

The legislation aims to address the so-called 'double-dipping' issue where employers currently may have to pay both for sick leave and other leave as well as the 25 per cent casual loading meant to compensate for those benefits.

The government will ensure employers do not have to pay worker entitlements twice by ensuring that a court deducts any identifiable casual loading paid to compensate the employee for the absence of one or more entitlements.

'These are significant reforms which together will solve the problem of uncertainty, provide better avenues for job security, remove the burden of double dipping claims and recognise employee choice.' Mr Porter said.

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