Changes to the Fair Work Act



The Federal Government announced a number of changes to the Fair Work Act this year following a review. The  changes focus on unfair dismissal laws and enterprise agreements. In this article we have outlined the important changes that you need to know.


Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal applications and general protections claims involving a dismissal will need to be lodged within 21 days.

Under certain circumstances Fair work Australia will be capable of dismissing unfair dismissal applications at their discretion. This will apply where the parties have concluded a settlement agreement, when an applicant fails to attend a proceeding relating to the application or where the application fails to comply with Fair Work Australia directions or orders relating to the application.

Fair Work Australia will be able to demand a party pay costs if through an unreasonable act or omission they have caused the other party to incur a cost. They can also demand a party pay a cost order if they fail to agree to a settlement that is deemed reasonable.


Contracts & Enterprise Agreements

Employers will be prohibited from making enterprise agreements with only one employee.

Employees will not be able to opt out of an enterprise agreement.

Individual union officials will not be permitted to act as bargaining representatives for employees not covered by the official’s union.


Change of Name

‘Fair Work Australia’ will be changed to a new title that has not yet been released. It will no longer contain the words ‘Fair Work’.


For more information on the Fair Work Act head the the Fair Work website or contact us.

The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.