Chapter 1


On 9 December 2020, the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (the bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives by the Hon Christian Porter MP, Minister for Industrial Relations.1
On 10 December 2020, the Senate referred the provisions of the bill to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee (the committee) for inquiry and report by 12 March 2021.2

Purpose of the bill

The bill would amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) and related legislation to:
introduce a statutory definition of casual employment;
create a statutory pathway to ongoing employment by including a casual conversion entitlement in the National Employment Standards of the Fair Work Act;
extend two temporary JobKeeper flexibilities in identified industries significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic;
introduce part-time flexibility provisions across identified modern awards;
streamline the enterprise agreement making and approval process;
prevent the transfer of industrial instruments where an employee transfers between associated entities at the employee's initiative;
allow the extension of the nominal life of greenfield agreements made in relation to the construction of a major project;
strengthen the Fair Work Act compliance and enforcement framework; and
introduce measures to support the efficiency of Fair Work Commission processes.3

Conduct of the inquiry

Details of the inquiry were made available on the committee's website.4 The committee also contacted a number of organisations inviting submissions to the inquiry. Submissions were received from 134 organisations, as listed at Appendix 1. Submissions are also available on the committee's website.
The committee held public hearings in Townsville, Adelaide and Canberra on 8, 10 and 19 February 2021 respectively. The witness lists for these hearings can be found at Appendix 2.

Structure of the report

Chapter 2 outlines the background to the bill, as well as its key provisions.
Chapter 3 sets out the key issues raised by submitters and witnesses and sets out the committee view.

Notes on references

References in this report to Committee Hansard are to proof transcripts. Please note that page numbers may vary between the proof and official transcripts.


The committee thanks those individuals and organisations who contributed to this inquiry by preparing written submissions and giving evidence at the public hearings.

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