Release type: Media Release


Closing loopholes that undercut pay and conditions for Australian workers


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

The Albanese Labor Government is supporting Australian workers by closing loopholes that undercut pay and conditions.

The Government’s Closing Loopholes Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

We were elected on a pledge to get wages moving again after a decade where keeping wages low was a deliberate design feature of the previous government.

Last year’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation was about raising the floor – to improve working conditions and get wages moving again. This reached into every workplace in the country. 

This year’s legislation is about closing the loopholes that undercut pay and conditions for workers.

Most workers will be unaffected by what happens this year, but for those who are affected – this will be life-changing.

The four major elements of the Closing Loopholes Bill are:

  • Criminalising wage theft
  • Introducing minimum standards for workers in the gig economy
  • Closing the forced permanent casual worker loophole
  • Closing the labour hire loophole.

The Government announced these policies when we were in Opposition two-and-a-half years ago and we took them to the Australian people last year.

The introduction of this Bill follows months of extensive consultations, including with employer groups and unions.

Other elements of the Closing Loopholes Bill include:

  • Allowing the Fair Work Commission to set minimum standards for the road transport industry
  • Continuing to implement the Boland Review to introducing an offence for industrial manslaughter and increasing penalties
  • Better support for first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Expanding the functions of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to include silica safety and silica-related diseases
  • Stronger workplace protections for survivors of family or domestic violence
  • Provide specific protections for delegates, greater legal powers to challenge unfair contract terms, and cracking down on sham contracting
  • Better representation for safety and compliance issues in the workplace, including expanding the powers of the Fair Work Commission to permit right of entry to investigate suspected underpayments

All of these measures are designed to close loopholes that have undercut secure jobs, better pay and safe workplaces.