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Proclamation of Transition to Forward with Fairness Act.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion. Deputy Prime Minister 27 March, 2008

Media Release

Proclamation of Transition to Forward with Fairness Act

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations today proclaimed with the Governor General the

Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008.

The proclamation of the Act is the beginning of the end of the previous Liberal Government's extreme Work

Choices laws which were introduced two years ago today.

The legislation reflects the Rudd Government's election commitments, which were set out in Forward with

Fairness and the Forward with Fairness Implementation Policy Plan. The key previsions of the Transition to

Forward with Fairness Act:

z Prevents the making of new Australian Workplace Agreements;

z Allows employers using AWAs as at 1 December 2007 to offer Individual Transitional Employment

Agreements (ITEAs) to new employees and employers already on AWAs, for the transition period while

award modernisation takes place; z Introduces a genuine no-disadvantage test for new collective agreements and ITEAs;

z Enables the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) to undertake the process of award

modernisation; and z Removes the requirement for employers to provide the Workplace Relations Fact Sheet to their


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Following the nominal expiry date of an AWA made under Work Choices, it may be terminated unilaterally by

either the employer or employee on 90 days' notice. The employee would then be entitled to the benefit of the

whole of an applicable collective agreement or award in the workplace.

As requested by employer and employee representatives, the Act will allow parties to retain pre-Work Choices

certified agreements and to extend or vary those agreements in limited circumstances to avoid a double

transition prior to the commencement of the Government's new workplace relations system in 2010.

The Government will introduce its substantive workplace relations reforms into Parliament later this year

after extensive consultation, to ensure that the Rudd Government's new workplace relations system is fair,

flexible and productive.

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