Helping Australians earn more and keep more of what they earn

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

The Albanese Labor Government is building on significant reforms to ensure Australians earn more and keep more of what they earn – with secure jobs, better pay and safer workplaces.

The Government’s Closing Loopholes laws stopped the underpayment and undercutting of conditions for Australian workers by closing loopholes that certain employers had been exploiting.

This included criminalising intentional wage theft, introducing minimum standards for gig economy workers, closing the labour hire loophole, providing a proper pathway for casuals seeking to convert to permanent work and introducing a right to disconnect outside of paid work hours.

Our Secure Jobs, Better Pay laws modernised Australia’s bargaining system to get wages moving again – particularly for those in feminised industries – after a decade of deliberate wage stagnation under the previous government.

The Albanese Government’s 2024-25 Budget builds on these reforms by:

  • Providing $27.5 million for the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to help it recover underpayments by large corporations.
  • Boosting funding for the FWO Employer Advisory Service by providing $20 million so small businesses can get the help they need to meet workplace obligations.
  • Investing $500,000 for the FWO to support implementation of the newly established right to disconnect.
  • Improving the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Recovery Program to help it recover unpaid superannuation in cases of insolvency.
  • Reinforcing the ban on the production and use of engineered stone within Australia through a complementary ban on imported engineered stone.
  • Providing $13.2 million to the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and building industry peak employer associations to assist residential builders to obtain accreditation under the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme to participate in Government-funded housing projects.
  • Providing $1.5 million to establish the Family and Injured Workers Advisory Committee to serve the needs of people affected by serious workplace incidents.
  • Providing an additional $1.5 million for the independent review of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, which underpins the Comcare workers’ compensation scheme.

The Albanese Government knows there are many people who just want to find a job.

We want an employment system that works to genuinely connect people to jobs, and that employers want to use to meet their workforce needs.

That’s why in this Budget we’re investing in employment services initiatives that align with the employment services reform directions outlined in the Employment White Paper:

  • Paid Employment Pathways Package will invest $54 million to trial two new work programs:
    • Real Jobs, Real Wages will support jobseeker experiencing long-term unemployment to build their capabilities by providing a tapered subsidy to employers who can provide secure and supportive job opportunities.
    • WorkFoundations will support social enterprises and businesses who can provide tailored paid job placements for jobseekers facing high barriers to employment.
  • We will invest an additional $68.6 million for the Digital Contact Centre to provide better support for people using Workforce Australia Online.
  • Strengthening the complaints mechanism for people using employment services, and introducing further safeguards in relation to payment suspensions and penalties.
  • Better recognising individuals’ circumstances with consistent mutual obligation rules and reducing the administrative burden for those who cannot meet requirements due to illness.
  • Providing $10.9 million for improvements to the Workforce Australia IT system to make it easier for people to use and to reduce administrative burden.
  • Investing $76.2 million to replace the Time to Work Employment Service to improve the transition from prison to work.

Under the Albanese Labor Government there are more people in jobs, they’re earning more and with our tax cuts they’ll keep more of what they earn.

/Public Release. View in full here.