LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Australia

Protecting Vulnerable Workers Bill 2017 to take effect

The Fair Work Amendment Bill passed both Houses of Parliament.

Until the Royal Assent is given, the Bill would not become an Act of Parliament. Once the bill has passed, changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 will apply straight away.

The changes will include increased penalties for ‘serious contraventions’ of workplace laws, as well as for breaches of record-keeping and pay slip obligations, employers can’t ask for cashback from employees or prospective employees, the implementation of reverse onus of proof, stronger powers for the Fair Work Ombudsman to collect evidence in investigations, and new penalties for giving FWO false or misleading information, or hindering or obstructing investigations.

After six weeks of Royal Assent, certain franchisors and holding companies could be held responsible if their franchisees or subsidiaries don’t follow workplace laws.

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