COVID-19 drove the FWC to conduct almost 70% of its proceedings remotely in 2020-21 and to convene a working group with similar institutions to advance virtual proceedings and develop a justice-friendly version of Microsoft Teams, according to the umpire's annual report, which also notes a further improvement in agreement approval times.
The Fair Work Ombudsman increased its use of compliance notices by 113% in 2020-21, as it sought to quickly rectify underpayments instead of taking action in the courts, while it has nevertheless ramped up its legal action by more than 40% and set up a dedicated branch to pursue corporate misconduct.
A Labor/Greens-majority secure work Senate inquiry is calling on the Morrison Government to require federally-funded entities, including universities, aged care and disability services, to give preference to direct, permanent jobs.
The CFMMEU's mining and energy division has asked the FWC to halt the rollout of BHP's mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy at the Mt Arthur open cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley, claiming it is not a lawful and reasonable direction.
The FWC's minimum wage panel has revealed that it is developing a consumer price index for low paid households and a budget of discretionary items required to participate in society, while one of its members says the pandemic will make that already difficult task even more complex.
A Supreme Court judge has slapped down a FWC presidential member's "clarion call" for Australians to "vigorously" reject the notion of mandatory COVID-19 jabs, questioning her assertions about the efficacy of vaccines and declaring it is not her role to challenge the validity or appropriateness of public health orders.