Expert comment available for January 1 2014 changes to workplace bullying laws and superannuation

18 December 2013
Important new national laws protecting Australian workers come into force from January 1 2014 including changes to how workplace bullying complaints can be dealt with, and improvements to the compulsory superannuation system.

Workplace bullying

On January 1, anti-bullying amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 come into effect that allow the Fair Work Commission to deal with workplace bullying complaints. Under these new laws, employees and independent contractors who have been bullied at work can apply to the Commission for an order to stop the bullying.

Maurice Blackburn principal Josh Bornstein, who is head of the firm's employment law practice and has campaigned for improved measures to deal with workplace bullying, said: "These new laws give employees and independent contractors the right to seek urgent action to stop workplace bullying. This early intervention mechanism will give these workers the opportunity to act early to protect their job, their health and their wellbeing."

Superannuation

From January 1, if you have not chosen a super fund, your employer must pay your compulsory super to a fund that offers MySuper. A MySuper fund is one that has lower fees and charges, no commissions, a fixed investment strategy and automatic cover for death and total and permanent disability.

John Berrill, Maurice Blackburn principal and head of the firm's superannuation and insurance claims department, said: "MySuper will ensure that most Australian workers will have their compulsory super paid into a fund that guarantees important base benefits, such as lower fees and charges, and compulsory cover for death and total and permanent disability."

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