Release type: Media Release


Secure Jobs and Better Pay in the Budget


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

The Albanese Government is committed to secure jobs and better pay – that’s why we backed an increase to the minimum wage, and it’s why we’re taking action to ensure a fairer workplace relations system for all Australian workers.

Australia’s current workplace relations system isn’t working – particularly for women in low-paid industries – and needs to be brought up to date with our modern economy.

Workplace Relations

As part of the Budget, the Government will introduce measures to get wages moving again, ensure safer, fairer and more secure workplaces – while helping drive economic growth. They include:

  • $69.9 million over four years to the Fair Work Ombudsman to regulate workplace laws in the building and construction industry, following the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). 
  • $32 million over four years and $8 million per year ongoing to ensure there are properly funded working women’s centres in every state and territory. These centres provide information, advocacy, advice and assistance to women on workplace issues – including workplace sexual harassment.
  • $20.2 million over four years will be provided to the Fair Work Commission to establish a Pay Equity Expert Panel, a Care and Community Sector Expert Panel, and a specialised research unit to inform and improve the Commission’s capacity to assess pay equity claims and help address the workforce challenges in the care and community sector.
  • $15.1 million over four years to ensure safer workplaces by supporting the Fair Work Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. This reflects the Government’s commitment to fully implement the recommendations of the Respect@Work Report. 
  • $8.9 million over three years to support employer representatives and unions to improve safety, fairness and productivity in workplaces – including through training initiatives. 
  • $7.9 million over four years to provide proactive support for workers and businesses – in particular small business – to help reach agreements that benefit them through the Fair Work Commission.
  • $7.9 million over four years to enhance existing small claims court processes to better support workers to recover unpaid entitlements, and to conduct a review to identify further reform opportunities. 
  • $3.4 million over four years to support small businesses to understand and implement our legislation for 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave.


The Albanese Government remains committed to a system which gets people ready for work while claiming Job Seeker, through employment programs which deliver value for money.

The Government is also committed to ensuring there is adequate employment in areas – particularly in regional Australia – dealing with a shortfall of workers in the wake of COVID-19.

That’s why the Budget will deliver:

  • $34.8 million to provide a more integrated Workforce Australia experience by moving the Skills for Education and Employment, Self-Employment Assistance, and Harvest Trail Services programs to the Workforce Australia Digital Platform. This will result in improved program delivery, better participant engagement and achieve easier provider administration and reporting on program activities and outcomes.
  • $25.8 million over four years to expand and reform the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, including measures to make the scheme more attractive for workers and Australian industry. 

As part of our commitment to improve the quality of investment and reduce wasteful spending in employment services, we will abolish the ReBoot program, Youth Jobs PaTH – Internships and the National Work Experience Program. Abolishing these programs delivers savings of $92.1 million over four years.

Changes in both Workplace Relations and Employment will ensure greater access to secure, well-paid jobs, benefiting workers, businesses and the Australian economy.