Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten
Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten Rob Williams

Workers awarded more rights with changes to Fair Work Act

WORKERS around the country now have more rights if their employer goes broke, after changes to the Fair Work Act passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday night.

The changes will ensure employees of companies that declare bankruptcy or become insolvent will still get four weeks' pay for each year they worked for the company.

The Coalition opposed the changes on the floor of the House after its proposed amendment - to cap the workers' entitlement at 16 weeks - failed on Tuesday.

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said the bill safeguarded entitlements that already existed under the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme.

"Employees are often given little to no warning when a company goes under and this is our way of trying to ensure they are not disadvantaged through situations they have no control over," he said.

Eligible employees will be covered for unpaid entitlements - redundancy, annual leave, long service leave, unpaid wages and payment in lieu of notice - where their employer is unable to pay due to insolvencies.



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