Understanding the new Fair Work industrial relations laws

Get ready for some big changes to Australia’s workplace laws from July 1, when the Rudd Government’s Fair Work industrial relations regime comes into effect.

The new IR laws mean big changes for every employer and particularly small and medium businesses. For example, protection against unfair dismissal claims that SMEs enjoyed under WorkChoices is gone and while there are some protection for companies with 15 employees or less, there are still traps these small employers need to dodge.

In order to help entrepreneurs and managers understand their rights and obligations under the Fair Work regime, SmartCompany has put together a page of articles, including a number of pieces by workplace lawyers Peter Vitale and Andrew Douglas guiding you through key aspects of the new laws.


Five reasons employers need to worry about the Fair Work IR regime

Two days. That’s all the time that is left before the Rudd Government’s new Fair Work industrial relations regime starts, but many workplace lawyers say Australian employers simply haven’t spent enough time understanding what the new rules mean for their business.

Are you ready for the new IR laws?

Get ready for some big changes in the workplace on July 1. If Howard’s Work Choices sent the pendulum swinging in one direction, Rudd’s Fair Work Act is swinging it back.

Workplace law changes for small business: The essentials explained

Yesterday we finally got the detail of the Federal Government’s new workplace relations laws including collective bargaining, unfair dismissal and arbitration.

Five new Fair Work traps

After hearing it said more than a little since the election of the Rudd Government, WorkChoices is now, officially, dead.

Will the Fair Work act re-write your work contracts?

The new Fair Work act comes into operation on 1 July 2009.  OK, most employers know that, but why would they want to worry about it before then?

Inside the new Fair Work bill

It was always expected that Labor would change the IR landscape, and aspects of its workplace changes have been previewed – but there are still some surprises, and every employer will need to know them.

The swinging pendulum of workplace relations

From a position that many saw as too far to the right, IR can now be accused of having too far a left wing bias. There is an important lesson here for employers, says ANDREW DOUGLAS, about managing the physics-like machinations of workplace law.

Is your business ‘family friendly’?

A growing legislative onus to accommodate staff with caring responsibilities won’t always mesh with your business as it stands. You need to prepare now for the changes that are coming.

The new IR world

Will there be a recession that compares to, or is worse than, the Great Depression of 1930?  Maybe there will not be 25% unemployment like 1930, but current employment is more skilled, more highly paid and less flexible in a difficult employment market.

How performance reviews can protect you from unfair dismissal claims

For a little over three years many businesses who wanted to dismiss employees have not really had to give a second thought to unfair dismissal rules. All of that changes on 1 July with the commencement of the Fair Work Act.

Get ready now to avoid unfair dismissal claims

Companies should review the performance of existing staff and determine whether disciplinary action needs to be taken before the changes to unfair dismissal laws come into affect on 1 July.


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