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The flaws of 'Same Job Same Pay'


  • The definition of 'casual' is 3 pages long. It includes 15 factors that must be considered.

  • It includes new fines and back pay for businesses that get it wrong.

  • All casuals already have the right to convert to 'permanent' status after 12 months if they work 'regular' hours. The bill will add a new right after 6 months with a new conversion system in addition to the existing one.


  • Contrary to the Government's claims, this applies well beyond labour hire. It will cover millions of workers in businesses that provide services to other businesses.

  • In fact, the starting point of this proposal is that any employer will be captured if they supply, either directly or indirectly, one or more employees to a 'regulated host' to perform work and a 'covered employment instrument'. The FWC must make a 'Same Job, Same Pay' order, unless it is satisfied that its not 'fair and reasonable' to do so. But what is 'fair and reasonable' is highly uncertain and will be highly litigious.

  • Broad definitions of 'Same Job' and 'Same Pay' mean a worker with decades of experience will be by law have to be paid the same as a labour hire worker new to the business.

  • These rules will force businesses to take away bonuses and incentives that reward people for their hard work and experience.


  • Independent contractors, such as self-employed tradespeople and owner-driver truck businesses will be forced into the IR system and could lose the freedom to be their own boss.

  • The Fair Work Commission will be given the power to 'approve' agreements between big business unions that fix prices in commercial contracts throughout supply chains and impose commercial terms and conditions on small businesses.


  • Unions would have more powers than police to enter workplaces and conduct search and seizures. These would extend to any workplace and any office of a business.

  • Every workplace (even non-union workplaces) would be required to pay for union delegates to attend 'training' and undertake union work during work hours. One union leader has said this should just be 'the cost of doing business'.

  • These plans were never part of the Government's election policies and there is no case for them.


  • The definition of a 'casual' is 3 pages long and includes 15 factors which 'must all be considered but do not need to be satisfied'.

  • The definition of employment is 7 pages long.

  • There is a 12 point multi-factor test that must be satisfied to determine whether businesses can escape 'Same Job, Same Pay' orders. Unions can then come back and try again if they don't like the outcome the first time around.

  • Small businesses can be roped into price-fixing 'agreements' by big businesses, regardless of whether they want to, and regardless of whether they even know about the 'agreement'.


  • A more complex definition of 'casual'

  • A more complex definition of 'employment'.

  • More uncertainty around 'Same Job, Same Pay' and labour hire. 'Labour Hire' is not even defined in the bill.

  • More uncertainty around the treatment of services contractors which are treated no differently to labour hire.

  • Greater powers for big business and unions to fix prices and rig markets, leading to higher prices, higher inflation and lower productivity.


  • There is not a single measure in the bill that will enhance productivity.

  • Instead, it contains dozens of measures that will damage productivity which will, in turn reduce wage growth.


  • There is not a single measure in the bill that will enhance competition.

  • Instead, it contains dozens of measures that are deliberately designed to reduce competition which will, in turn, increase prices, increase inflation and reduce real wages.

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