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‘Same job, same pay’ set to become law

Closing Loopholes

The Federal Government’s Closing Loopholes Bill is set to pass parliament today after it was split by the Senate earlier in November, The Guardian reported.

The deal to split the Bill was struck by senators David Pocock and Jacqui Lambie in a bid to pass uncontentious protections for workers.

Following the successful split, the Bill will pass parliament in what Minister for Industrial Relations Tony Burke declared to be a “great day for workers’ wages and safety”.

A majority of the Senate have agreed on the key measures of the Bill, which will include:

  • stronger rights for workplace delegates
  • better support for first responders diagnosed with PTSD
  • stronger protections against discrimination for employees subjected to family and domestic violence
  • silica-related diseases and safety within the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
  • criminalising industrial manslaughter.

The Guardian reported that senator Pocock emphasised “consensus over some” of the remaining elements, including the gig economy and casuals, which he labelled “incredibly important” with details to be resolved in the new year.

Mining and Energy Union (MEU) general secretary Grahame Kelly thanked the senators for supporting the Bill.

“After years of campaigning for ‘same job, same pay’, the MEU will now focus on making sure these new laws deliver for workers across the mining and energy industries,” he said.

The passing of the Bill follows AREEA’s successful campaign in late November to strike contracting businesses delivering services from the docket.

“With the Government committed to passing its ‘Closing Loopholes Bill’ into law, protecting the resources and energy sector supply chain has been the overwhelming priority for AREEA and its broad national membership,” AREEA chief executive Steve Knott said.

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