Media Releases

Workers celebrate as closing loopholes bill gets green light from crossbench

December 07, 2023

SA Unions celebrate a big win for workers, as key parts of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 get the green light from the Senate. 

Key parts of the Bill that passed today were: 

  • Closing the labour hire loophole, which will mean better pay for labour hire workers who are brought in by companies like BHP and Qantas to drive down wages in their industries.
  • Criminalising wage theft. For too long workers have had wages stolen from them with little recourse. This Bill will increase the civil penalties for wage theft and criminalise intentional wage theft. Superannuation theft will also be included in this legislation. 
  • Stronger rights for workplace delegates. 
  • Introduce better support for first responders diagnosed with PTSD. 
  • Strengthen protections against discrimination for employees subjected to family and domestic violence. 
  • Include silica-related diseases and safety within the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Criminalise industrial manslaughter. 

The bill will be supported by Labor, the Greens, the crossbench, David Pocock, Jacquie Lambie and Lydia Thorpe.

“This is huge for workers, the loopholes closed by this will make Australian workplaces fairer. Every step of the way, Peter Dutton, Michaelia Cash and the Liberal Party has shown their willingness to sell out working people to satisfy billionaires and big business.” 

"Wage theft's rampant grip on Aussie workplaces has turned into a playbook for business, from corner stores to major brands. Today, we slam the door shut on this exploitative model—it's now criminal." 

"Despite the deep pockets of Qantas, Gina Rinehart, BHP, and the mining giants fighting tooth and nail, the shady game of using labour hire schemes to undercut workers is officially history." 

“Industrial manslaughter, action on silica and stronger rights for workplace delegates will make workplaces safer.” 

“There are many more loopholes that will still need to be closed. South Australia is the insecure capital of the nation with 1 in 3 workers without a secure job. These workers and their families need action on closing the loopholes on casual work and sham contracting."