The President of the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has proposed to delay the commencement of the next 4 yearly review of modern awards.

The Fair Work Act 2009 requires the Commission to conduct a 4 yearly review of modern awards as soon as practicable after the fourth anniversary of 1 January 2010. This means the second review is due to commence as soon as practicable after 1 January 2018.

AMMA has been following the progress of the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017. If passed, the Bill will, among other things, remove the requirement for the Commission to conduct 4 yearly reviews of modern awards (see related article). There is no likelihood that the Bill will pass prior to 1 January 2018, with Parliament not resuming until February 2018.

President Ross issued a Statement in which he referred to the unlikelihood of the passage of the Bill, and noted that “there is a significant amount of work still to be done to finalise the current review and it is unlikely to be completed until later in the second half of 2018.”

In light of the volume of work still required to be complete to current review, President Ross stated that he has formed the provisional view that it is not practicable to commence the second 4 yearly review until the current review has been completed and parties have been given an opportunity to consider how the recently reviewed modern awards are operating in practice. The Commission is seeking submissions from interested parties by 21 December 2017.