Closing Loopholes Bill passes Parliament: an Update from Master Builders Australia

Feb 13, 2024 | Industry News

This week the Federal Government passed new workplace laws known as the Closing Loopholes Bill. There are a range of changes impacting every business and worker including:

  • Big changes to casual workers
  • New ‘employee-like’ category of employment impacting independent contractors who use digital platforms
  • A new ‘right to disconnect’ provision
  • More rights for unions and changes to entry powers
  • New fines and penalties for employers
  • Same job, same pay provisions for people who use labour hire or subcontractors
  • Criminalisation of wage theft

Overall, the business community is disappointed with this omnibus Bill which ultimately hurts productivity, increases uncertainty and legal risk, and drives up costs for businesses and consumers.

But there has been a win for some independent contractors.

Master Builders Australia are thrilled to share some exciting news regarding their recent campaign efforts and the significant strides made in advocating for the rights of independent contractors within the building and construction industry.

As many of you are aware, Master Builders Australia and the broader Defend Your Rights team has been at the forefront of a campaign against a proposal that threatened the rights of independent contractors to be their own boss through the introduction of a definition of employment.

They are delighted to inform you that with your help the campaign has yielded tangible results.

Following extensive discussions involving MBA, Minister Tony Burke, and crossbench Senators David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie, pivotal amendments to the proposed legislation were introduced and passed late last week.

These changes grant independent contractors, who meet a specific income threshold, the option to opt out of transitioning to employee status. This development is a significant win, as it ensures that independent contractors can continue to operate without undue constraints, particularly amidst the current housing crisis.

Master Builders Australia extend their heartfelt gratitude to the thousands of Australians (including many KBDi members) who signed a petition, emailed/called/visited their local member of parliament, participated in media interviews, or spread the word with their networks.

Together, we have demonstrated the power of collective action in safeguarding the rights and interests of independent contractors.

Thank you once again for your dedication and commitment.

One more webinar
With the changes now law there are range of changes, including last minute amendments, and start dates that you will need to get your head across. Master Builders are hosting one last webinar on Thursday 15 February at 4.30pm AEDT.

Register here.

This webinar presents an invaluable opportunity for you to gain insights into the implications of these amendments and how they may impact your operations.

We strongly encourage you to mark your calendars and join Master Builders for this informative session.


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