Release type: Joint Media Release


Delivering secure jobs and better pay


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

The Albanese Labor Government has delivered on the next step of its plan to lift wages, improve job security and start closing the gender pay gap.

The Government’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill – which passed Federal Parliament today – will give Australian workers a better deal and a better future.

After a decade of deliberate wage suppression under the Liberals and Nationals, Australian workers need a pay rise and these new laws will deliver.

By modernising the bargaining system we will see more workplace agreements, delivering better productivity and flexibility for employers and better pay and conditions for workers.

We’re bringing our workplace relations system up to date with a Government that wants to get wages moving again.

The new laws also:

  • reform the Better Off Overall Test so it’s simple, flexible and fair
  • put gender pay equity at the heart of the Fair Work Act
  • ban pay secrecy clauses that hold back women's wages
  • expand access to flexible rostering arrangements
  • limit the use of fixed term contracts
  • ban job ads that advertise below minimum rates of pay
  • terminate WorkChoices “zombie” agreements
  • give the Fair Work Commission more powers to arbitrate industrial disputes
  • abolish politicised anti-worker organisations.

We thank the minor parties and crossbenchers who supported this important legislation.

But every single Liberal and National MP voted against this Bill.

The Opposition voted against better wages, against secure jobs and against closing the gender pay gap.

They spent ten years keeping wages low as a deliberate design feature of their economic policies – and they’re still at it.

Our Government is taking the opposite approach. Higher wages are a deliberate design feature of this Government’s policies.

One of the first things we did as a Government was help secure a pay rise for Australia’s lowest paid workers. We have also supported aged care workers to secure a wage rise.

The Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill is the next step in that commitment – but it won’t be the last.

The Government will deliver a second tranche of workplace relations reforms next year to close the loopholes that are undermining job security and wage growth.