Closing Loopholes Acts 2023 and 2024 – overview and effective dates of changes.

22 April 2024

We thought it timely to provide a refresher by way of topic summary, the changes, and the effective date of those changes to the Fair Work Act.  This is supported by a table below which summarises the date of effect of changes since 15 December 2023 and up to 26 February 2025.


Closing Loopholes Act 2023[1] – received Royal Assent on 14 December 2023. It introduced or made changes to:

  • the small business redundancy exemption
  • the regulated labour hire arrangement jurisdiction (see our legal alert here)
  • workplace delegates’ rights
  • protections for those subject to family and domestic violence
  • compulsory conciliation conferences in protected action ballot order matters
  • right of entry – where assisting health and safety representatives
  • the intentional wage theft offence
  • an industrial manslaughter offence (amendments to the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth))
  • amendments to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act 2013
  • amendments to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988

Closing Loopholes No. 2 Act 2024[2] – received Royal Assent on 26 February 2024. It introduced or made changes to:

  • casual employment (definition and casual conversions)
  • the definition of ‘employee’ and ‘employer’ – impacting the classification of employment and contractor relationships
  • intractable bargaining provisions
  • enterprise bargaining provisions relating to multi-enterprise agreements and franchisees
  • the Fair Work Commission’s process for making model terms for enterprise agreements
  • the Fair Work Commission’s powers relating to ’employee-like’ workers performing digital platform work in the gig economy
  • powers to support the regulation of the road transport industry
  • powers to register collective agreements relating to regulated workers
  • a right to disconnect (see our legal alert here)
  • an ‘unfair contracts’ dispute resolution function for independent contractors (who earn below a high-income threshold, being an amount that is yet to be advised)
  • workplace delegates’ rights for ‘regulated workers’
  • enhanced ability for entry permit holders to enter a workplace to investigate suspected underpayment of wages

Summary timeline of changes at April 2024 – note that some of these changes have already taken effect.

15 December 2023
  • Small business redundancy exemption
  • Regulated labour hire arrangement jurisdiction
  • Workplace delegates’ rights for employees
  • New family and domestic violence protections
  • Amendments to compulsory conferences in protected action ballot matters
  • Right of entry – assisting health and safety representatives
  • Amendments to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Act 2013
  • Amendments to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
27 February 2024
  • Multiple franchisees access to single enterprise bargaining
  • Transitioning from multi-enterprise agreements
  • Intractable bargaining workplace determinations
  • Registered organisation withdrawal from amalgamations
1 July 2024
  • Industrial Manslaughter
  • Workplace delegates rights terms for employees in modern awards, workplace determinations and enterprise agreements
  • Exemption certificates for entry to investigate suspected underpayment
26 August 2024
  • Changes to casual employment (definition and casual conversion pathways)
  • Right to disconnect (commencing 12 months later for small businesses)
  • Provisions for ‘employee-like’ workers and the road transport industry*
  • Collective agreements and workplace delegates rights for regulated workers*
  • Determining whether a relationship is employment*
  • Independent contractor ‘unfair contracts’ disputes*

*Or a date by proclamation

1 November 2024
  • Regulated labour hire arrangement orders can commence operation
1 January 2025
  • Wage theft offence**
  • Changes to maximum civil penalties for underpayments (excepting small business employers)

**The later of 1 January 2025; and the day after the Minister declares a Voluntary Small Business Wage Compliance Code – presently under review.

26 February 2025
  • Model enterprise agreement flexibility, consultation and dispute terms


[1] Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Act 2023.
[2] Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024.

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This Newsletter is made available to our clients and interested parties to provide immediate access to information about important changes and developments relevant to employers. The information contained in this publication should not be relied on as legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for detailed advice that takes into account particular situations and the particular circumstances of your business.