Protecting Vulnerable Workers Bill Passes Senate

Having had more work done to it than a B-grade movie actor, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill finally passes Senate scrutiny and heads towards amending the Fair Work Act 2009 in the weeks to come.

The amendments are a result of the 7-11 Inquiry and related systematic underpayment of wages, parliamentary investigations into the abuse of migrant workers in the agricultural and horticultural industries, and the outcome of the Productivity Commissions 2015 inquiry. Although none of the amendments will specifically bring a smile to your face, they will assist to ensure your competition is playing fair or suffer greater consequences if they aren't.

The amendments to the Act will affect franchisors, it will increase penalties for record-keeping failures, increasing penalties for serious contraventions of the Act, expressly prohibiting employers demanding employees pay some of their wages back in cash, and increasing the Ombudsman's evidence gathering powers when they investigate claims.

For those affected subscribers, Workforce Guardian will provide a detailed review of the final drafting next week as well as the impact on your business.

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