Hundreds of people attended an Ai Group webinar last week to find out how the Federal Government’s third tranche of proposed industrial relations changes will affect business and industry. 

The online briefing provided key insights into the major elements of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023, introduced into Parliament on September 4. 

Webinar presenters Brent Ferguson, Ai Group’s Head of National Workplace Relations Policy, and Nicola Street, Director – Workplace Relations Policy, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, have been representing Ai Group members by directly engaging with the Government on the development of the proposed changes. 

The Bill proposes changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) relating to a number of issues including:  

  • changes to casual employment  
  • the implementation of the Government’s ‘Same Job Same Pay Policy’ 
  • changes to the FW Act’s compliance and enforcement framework including a new a criminal offence for intentional ‘wage theft’ 
  • union right of entry and new rights for union delegates and  
  • enabling the Fair Work Commission to introduce minimum standards for ‘employee-like workers’ (including in the gig economy) and the road transport industry. 

Questions relating to these issues and others were answered during the presentation, hosted by Ai Group’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Tony Melville, pictured above with Nicola and Brent. 

Ai Group’s workplace relations specialists have created further resources to keep members informed. 

These include a member advice and a comprehensive guide providing greater detail on each proposed change. 

Mr Ferguson said it was important to note that the legislation had not yet been passed by Parliament and changes were likely to be made.  

“The Bill has been referred to a Senate Committee inquiry scheduled to report to Parliament by February 1 next year,” he said. 

“Ai Group will lodge a submission in relation to the inquiry and anticipates being called to give evidence in any associated hearing convened by the committee.  

“We intend to actively raise any concerns over the problems that flow from the implementation and operation of the Closing Loopholes Bill as currently framed with the Government and members of Parliament more broadly.”  

Ai Group members can phone the Ai Group Workplace Advice Line on 1300 55 66 77 to discuss any matters arising under the Closing Loopholes Bill or any other workplace relations issue or contact Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at 

Members can also access a growing range of information and material relating to the Closing Loopholes Bill and its potential passage through Parliament on a dedicated page on our website.  


Wendy Larter

Wendy Larter is Communications Manager at the Australian Industry Group. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, features writer, contributor and sub-editor for newspapers and magazines including The Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Metro, the News of the World, The Times and Elle in the UK.