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Secure Jobs, Better Pay – Changes to the Better off Overall (BOOT) Test

The new Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act passed in 2022 contained significant changes to the Better Off Overall Test, or BOOT Test. This underpins the conditions that must be provided to employees by employers, so any change in how these conditions are measured is, in our view, worthy of attention. 

The new legislative amendments have changed the BOOT test in three major ways:

Firstly, before a new enterprise agreement can be approved it needs to be assessed by the Fair Work Commission and pass the Better Off Overall Test. It is now based on a global assessment of the proposed entitlements or terms rather than a line-by-line assessment of the terms and entitlements in comparison with the appropriate award.

Secondly, the Fair Work Commission will consider the kinds or the patterns of work, and types of employment that can be reasonably projected by that identifiable business to the enterprise the agreement it relates to. This now improves the process with deliberations and considerations less likely to relate to hypothetical matters or events raised by parties to the negotiations that are unlikely to happen.

Thirdly, now the views of both parties involved in the enterprise agreement will now need to be considered by the Fair Work Commission. This means both the employer and the employee representatives have input into the discussions and decision making and the Better Off Overall Test has been passed – it is no longer just only up to the employer undertakings.

The Fair Work Commission can also amend the proposed enterprise agreement to address or rectify any concerns to ensure it is changed to passes the test. The changes give greater clarity to employers as to when the test will be applied as well as protecting the entitlements of the employees.

The government’s intention to introduce these changes was no secret, it was a key election promise and it received a lot of attention in the media. However, now that we know what the changes are in practice and where the boundaries lie, this means you can now take the steps required to address the situation and protect your business. 

Change can be scary, especially when it comes to changes in the law and additional responsibilities for employers and large organisations. There is no need to worry though, Performance Advantage specialises in helping employers navigating these changes and fully understanding what they mean for your business. 

If you need further advice on how these changes may impact your business, or if you need your policies and procedures to be updated to remain compliant, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us on 0408897079 or on

Suzanne Diprose, Director
0408 897 079