We administer a number of laws and regulations that govern Australia’s workplaces.

Fair Work Legislation

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) and the Fair Work Regulations 2009 are the main legislation we deal with. They govern the employee and employer relationship in Australia. They:

  • provide a safety net of minimum entitlements
  • enable flexible working arrangements
  • provide fairness at work and prevent discrimination against employees.

The Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009 allowed certain parts of the Fair Work system to gradually phase in from 1 July 2009 until around 2014.

Visit The Fair Work system page for more information about the system.

The Fair Work (State Referral and Consequential and Other Amendments) Act 2009 and the Fair Work Amendment (State Referrals and Other Measures) Act 2009 changes the Fair Work Act to allow states to refer matters to the Australian Government to form a national workplace relations system. Before this, workplace laws were set and administered by most individual states. States kept their workplace relations powers over state and local government employees.

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Amendment Acts

Sometimes Parliament make changes to existing Acts by passing amendments known as Amendment Acts. Amendment Acts that made changes to the Fair Work Act include:

Other relevant legislation

Corporations Act 2001

The Corporations Act 2001 is the main legislation regulating companies in Australia. It covers companies and other entities, such as partnerships.

The Corporations Act regulates matters including how to register a company and how businesses should behave during insolvency.

We may take action to enforce a limited number of sections of the Corporations Act.

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Amendment Act

A recent Amendment Act made changes to the Corporations Act that affects the process for restructuring and liquidating eligible small businesses.

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Independent Contractors Act 2006

The Independent Contractors Act 2006 protects the rights of genuine independent contractors to enter into a contract for services and prevents interference by any other party.

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Freedom of Information Act 1982

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives members of the public the right to access official documents of the Australian Government and its agencies.

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Privacy Act 1988

The Privacy Act 1988 regulates how the Australian Government and its agencies use and distribute information they collect about individuals.

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Competition and Consumer Act 2010

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 covers most areas of the market: the relationships between suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Its purpose is to enhance the welfare of Australians by promoting fair trading and competition, and through the provision of consumer protections. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

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Help for small business

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