How are you preparing for the Closing Loopholes legislation in Australia?
Rachel Nolan

Head of Workplace Relations, APAC

4 minutes

How are you preparing for the Closing Loopholes legislation in Australia?

Are you aware of the potential implications of the amendments to Australia's Fair Work Act Closing Loopholes Legislation for your organisation?

Any business employing a significant number of contingent workers under various arrangements in Australia should be aware of the full details and be prepared to take steps towards mitigating any risk.

What’s changing with the Fair Work Legislations amendments?

Since December 2023, amendments to Australia's Fair Work Act have been introduced, aimed at enhancing workplace fairness and closing loopholes. In 2024, there are several changes the amendments are going to bring forward, including:

  • Criminalising wage theft
  • Regulating labour hire agreements
  • New protections for delegates
  • Industrial manslaughter (plus increased penalties for other offences)
  • Right of entry to assist health and safety representatives
  • Definition of Employment
  • Changes to Penalty amounts
  • Casual Employment
  • Gig Economy
  • Unfair Contract terms
  • Right to Disconnect
  • Redundancy
  • Increased Protection Against Discrimination 


When does it come into effect?

1 July

  • Workplace delegates rights terms for employees in modern awards, workplace determinations and enterprise agreements
  • Exemption certificates for entry to investigate suspected underpayment 

26 August

  • Changes to definition of casual employee and pathway to full-time and part-time employment
  • Right to disconnect
  • Provisions for ‘employee-like’ workers and the road transport industry
  • Collective agreements and workplace delegates rights for regulated workers
  • Determining whether a relationship is employment
  • Independent contractor ‘unfair contracts’ disputes

1 November

  • Regulated labour hire arrangement orders can commence operation.


Two key pieces of this legislation pertaining to contingent workers

1. Same Job Same Pay – labour hire

Under the legislative amendments, labour hire employees must be paid at least the minimum wage, or the ‘protected rate of pay’, which is the same rate they would receive if working directly for their ‘host employer’ or in a public sector, doing the same job.

The fundamental principle of the amendment is equal pay for equal work, which dictates that employers need to guarantee that labour hire employees receive equal pay to their permanent colleagues for equivalent tasks.

2. Casual Employment

The definition of casual employment will be amended to ensure that the entire relationship is considered (as opposed to just the written contract). 
The Bill also introduces a new right for a casual employee to request a conversion to more permanent employment after 6 months (or 12 months for small business employers). This replaces the existing regime where the predominant onus is on the employer to offer conversion to permanent employment to qualifying employees.

Many of these workers are hired through recruitment agencies that do not provide transparency regarding individual worker pay or tenure. Organisations will benefit from implementing a robust system to ensure compliance with this legislation.


What can you do to help mitigate risk?

To start, investigate what data your organisation has in place to report on rates of pay and tenure of your employees.

Companies in countries like the UK and USA, where such legislation is currently in effect, have already turned to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to oversee their contingent workforce and ensure full compliance.

Here's how our MSP solution can assist you:

  1. Provide Clear Guidelines and Templates with Full Visibility & Reporting
  2. Regular Compliance Audits and Monitoring with Expert Risk Mitigation
  3. Proactive Communication and Education with Ongoing Support 

If you are interested in learning how our MSP solution can help your organisation comply with this legislation and protect against its ramifications, please get in touch.

Contact us


This update is comment of a general nature only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, advice (whether legal or otherwise) on any specific professional matter. The accuracy and/or effectiveness of any professional advice will depend on the particular circumstances of the relevant case. Neither Impellam Group, any of its entities or any individual author of or contributor to this update accepts any responsibility whatsoever for your reliance on this update. To understand how these changes may affect you or your business, we recommend that you consult your professional adviser.

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