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MEDIA RELEASE: Service contractors breathe easier after Government cuts IR deal

Providing Influence and Industry Advocacy since 1918

Contact AREEA to find out more. When it comes to workforce & workplace relations advocacy, AREEA is right there with you.

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Statement by Steve Knott AM, Chief Executive Officer
Australian Resources & Energy Employer Association:

The Senate passing key elements of the “Closing Loopholes” legislation was a foreseeable outcome.

After consulting with key government, opposition and crossbench members, AREEA formed the view the labour hire proposals were likely to pass into law at some point and began negotiating important amendments with the Albanese Government.

As a result of AREEA’s approach:

  • service contractors who employ their own people, use their own equipment and supervise their own staff, will be protected from future labour hire pay orders;
  • other contractors which supply labour to be supervised by their clients will have a far clearer opportunity to provide evidence to the FWC that the service they are providing is not labour hire;
  • the Fair Work Commission (FWC) must, as a threshold jurisdictional issue, be satisfied an arrangement is not for provision of a service to make a labour hire pay order; and
  • the risk that unforeseen increases in the value of retrospective leave liability would send labour hire providers broke, has been largely mitigated.


AREEA has firmly opposed the “same job, same pay” policy for several years and, like other business groups, would have far preferred the “Closing Loopholes” Bill to simply disappear.

However, the political reality was that the government had multiple pathways to legislate its longstanding policy.

Without AREEA taking the approach of negotiating these amendments with the government, service providers not just in the resources and energy sector, but right across the economy, would have been in the crosshairs.

We will continue to advocate concerns with the labour hire provisions and other aspects of the Closing Loopholes Bill directly to the government.

This includes for simplicity and clarity around various technical issues that will assist labour hire firms with the many administrative challenges to come when complying with orders.

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