The Morrison Government has delivered more certainty to Australia’s economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, passing landmark reforms in the Senate today that will benefit both employees and employers.

Casual workers will have greater opportunity to convert to permanent work, and small and family businesses will be saved from a potentially devastating $39 billion liability thanks to the Government’s removal of a ‘double dipping’ loophole.

“This is a significant win for casual workers who perform a regular pattern of work and deserve the benefits that can flow from permanency, if that is what they wish,” Acting Minister for Industrial Relations, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said.

“In addition, the Bill passed today protects business from double-dipping back-pay claims for entitlements they have already paid, which if left unaddressed had the potential to cost jobs and bankrupt businesses. These measures will protect jobs into the future, a critical move as Australia moves strongly out of the economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Disappointingly, at a time when the economy is recovering and businesses are hiring more Australians, Labor and the ACTU were willing to let small and family businesses be hit with an up to $39 billion double-dipping wage bill, and deny casual employees a pathway to permanency.

“When it comes to employers and casual employees, clearly Labor is not on your side.”

The Minister said that, whilst the Senate did not support a number of other proposed reforms in the Bill, the changes relating to casual workers were the most critical elements of the legislation, as these changes will provide certainty to both Australian workers and businesses and stronger rights for employees.

“Labor’s hysterical scare campaign, backed by its union mates which pour millions into Labor’s coffers, has put its own interests ahead of the interests of workers, the businesses that employ them and the national interest, at the most challenging time our nation has faced in decades.

“Labor should hang its head in shame.”

“I thank Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party for working co-operatively with the Government on these proposed reforms, in particular the reform for casual workers, and note the support of Centre Alliance’s Stirling Griff on these crucial issues.”