Future Perfect: Law changes for the better

Over the past 18 months, the federal government has passed three tranches of industrial relations laws, ushering in many positive changes for working people. 

Two of particular note are big improvements to the rights of union delegates in the workplace, and moves to require superannuation to be paid on paid parental leave.

It is widely documented that women usually retire with lower superannuation balances than men, and a key reason for this is that women still do most of the child rearing, with the associated time off work this entails.

One long-standing weakness of the government’s paid parental leave (PPL) scheme has been that PPL payments do not attract super. However, recent changes to the scheme will see primary carers (overwhelmingly women) have super paid on their PPL, a small but important step to fix systemic disadvantage on this front.

In other laws, workplace delegates (known as ‘reps’ in the IEU) now have considerably stronger rights in the workplace. Duly elected reps can now better represent their member colleagues in the workplace, such as acting for them in disputes, communicating with union members through a right to reasonable access to workplace facilities such as the email system and notice boards. Reps also have the right to reasonable time for paid union training.

Perhaps most important is that reps can now access union training during paid time. The IEU regularly provides training for reps, and delegates in the post-secondary world are warmly invited to attend.


This update is part of the April 2024 edition of Future Perfect enewsletter.
Future Perfect is distributed to IEU members in the private post-secondary education sector two times per year.

You can read past editions of Future Perfect on our enews homepage or stay across all our updates on LinkedIn.