Changes to Fair Work Amendments Act
Consultation about hours of work:
From 1 January 2014 all modern awards will be required to provide for genuine consultation on changes to rosters and hours of work (as well as any major changes to the workplace that effect employees).
These provisions flow on from the initial changes under the Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 introduced to promote family friendly workplaces which came into effect 1 July 2013. The Act expanded the categories of employees who can request flexible working arrangements.
On 1 January 2014 the standard consultation clause in all modern awards will be required to be varied to provide for employers to genuinely consult with employees.
From 1 January 2014 a worker can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop bullying if they reasonably believe they are being bullied.
This provision applies if the worker is in a constitutionally covered business and is subject to repeated unreasonable behaviour (by an individual or group) that is a risk to health and safety. An individual or group can be anyone that regularly visits the premises – a delivery person, a customer or a patient for example.
A worker can be anyone who carries out work in any capacity for a business including an employee, a contractor or subcontractor, an employee of a labour hire business assigned to the host business. Reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner is not bullying.
The Commission is empowered to make any appropriate orders to prevent the worker from being bullied.