Review of the Fair Work Act


On 20 December 2011, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation the Hon. Bill Shorten MP announced a review of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008. The review will be conducted by Reserve Bank Board Member Mr John Edwards, Former Federal Court Judge the Hon. Michael Moore and legal and workplace relations academic Professor Ron McCallum AO.
The Review will examine the extent to which the legislation is operating as it was intended, and evidence for where the legislation could be improved. The report is expected to be delivered to the Minister in May 2012.
The Minister said that while the Government believes the current legislation is working well, “there is always room for improvement and I am very pleased these three eminent Australians have agreed to lead the review.” He noted that the Government “will of course continue to consult with employer organisations, trade unions, employees, workplace relations experts and peak bodies throughout the review period and beyond.”
The Minister’s Press Release, along with the Terms of Reference and biographies of each panel member are available here.
On 18 January 2012, the Fair Work Act Review Panel released a background paper and outlined the timing of the review’s submission process.
Written submissions to the Review Panel are due by 17 February 2012. Supplementary submissions, including comments on the submissions of other participants, are due by 2 March 2012.
In addition to written submissions, the Review Panel is planning discussions and roundtable meetings with all key employer and employee representatives. These discussions will have a particular focus on people less likely to make written submissions, including low paid workers and workers from non-English speaking backgrounds.
The background paper includes the terms of reference for the Review, as well as background to the Fair Work Act. The background paper and Department’s media release is available at
For more information, contact your Hawker Britton consultant.