In great news for SDA members, the Albanese Government’s new workplace laws have passed Federal Parliament, guaranteeing a range of new and better rights for millions of workers across the country.


These improvements are the result of a massive campaign by union members across the country over the past 18 months. 

The new laws seek to ensure that all Australian workers across all industries have the right to a fair wage and a fair go at work.


Wage Theft

From 2025, employers who intentionally do not pay workers properly and commit wage theft, will be subject to higher civil penalties and criminal penalties.

Wage theft is rife across retail, fast food and warehousing.

For too long, workers have been the ones paying the price, not the employers.

Under the new legislation, employers and individuals who commit wage theft could face imprisonment and fines of up to $7.8 million.  

The new wage theft laws also take aim at superannuation theft, meaning employers who underpay superannuation could also be liable for penalties. 

Millions of workers are not receiving their mandatory superannuation payments, and it’s costing them billions in lost payments.

These strong laws on wage and super theft are a positive outcome for workers and will help put a stop to this deliberate practice.


Casual Workers

The new legislation contains a common-sense definition of casual employment, giving workers more power to convert to permanent employment. 

Under the previous laws, a casual worker is defined as such if their contract says there is no firm commitment to ongoing work. It does not take into account how
regularly they work or how long they’ve been employed for.

Under the new definition, a worker will be considered casual if their work is characterised by “an absence of a firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work”.

It will consider whether or not they have a regular pattern of work, if permanent workers do the same type of work and the further availability of work. 

Casual workers will have the right to request to convert after 6 months if they no longer meet the definition of a casual worker.


Same Job, Same Pay

From November 2024, when a worker is hired through a labour hire company to work at an employer with an enterprise Agreement, the SDA can apply to force the employer to pay labour hire workers the same as direct workers. 

While labour hire work has a genuine purpose to fulfil short term needs, too many employers are taking advantage of these laws to deny labour hire workers decent wages and permanent work.

Labour hire workers earn roughly $4,700 less than direct workers each year and these changes will put a stop to this.  



  • Increased fines and penalties for wage theft 
  • A genuine pathway for casual workers to transition to permanent work 
  • Improved safety standards and work rights for gig workers   
  • Enhanced rights for transport workers   
  • The right to disconnect and refuse unreasonable, unpaid work 
  • Same job, same pay rights for labour hire workers 
  • Stronger rights for workplace delegates. 
  • Stronger workplace safety laws, including industrial manslaughter and better rights for injured workers 
  • Protections for domestic violence survivors