[2014] FWCFB 916



Fair Work Act 2009

s.156—4 yearly review of modern awards

4 Yearly Review of Modern Awards



4 yearly review of modern awards.

[1] Section 156 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act), provides that the Commission must review all modern awards every four years. The conference held on 5 February 2014 marks the commencement of the first such 4 yearly review (the review). The review will consist of an initial stage dealing with issues associated with the legislative framework for the review and the identification of ‘common issues’ (the initial stage). This will be followed by an award stage which will review all modern awards in four groups (the award stage).

[2] On 24 January 2014 the Commission released an issues paper relating to the review. The Commission received 35 submissions in response to the issues paper. These submissions are available on the 4 yearly review of modern awards page of the Commission’s website.

[3] At the conference on 5 February 2014 the Commission outlined a process for the resolution of the jurisdictional issues canvassed in the issues paper and to progress the identification of ‘common issues’ that affect multiple awards. There was broad support for the process outlined. The Commission directed that the conference be conducted in public, pursuant to s.592(3) of the FW Act, and a transcript of the proceedings will be available on the 4 yearly review of modern awards page of the Commission’s website.

[4] In relation to the jurisdictional issues the Commission has issued Directions for the filing of any further submissions. A hearing in relation to these matters will take place on 6 March 2014.

[5] The ‘common issues’ (including issues associated with the coverage of modern awards) will be the subject of a Conference to be convened by the President on 26 February 2014. Further information about that Conference will be provided shortly.

[6] Three award specific matters were also discussed during the 5 February 2014 conference:

[7] During the course of this review, parties and the Commission may wish to draw on data and research to inform the proceedings.

[8] The Commission notes that research into award reliance was recently published as part of the Annual Wage Review 2013-14. This research, undertaken by the Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney Business School, reports the findings of an Award Reliance survey undertaken in 2013 which sampled non-public sector organisations operating in the national workplace relations system. The research provides a range of data from award-reliant organisations including their composition and the nature of employment arrangements within them. The research can be found on the Commission’s website.

[9] In addition, during the course of the review, there may be some capacity for research staff of the Commission to provide data or research as it relates to the proceedings. Any requests or proposals for research will be discussed further with parties by the relevant Member or Full Bench.


Printed by authority of the Commonwealth Government Printer

<Price code A PR547518>