A major employer group has welcomed changes to workplace laws to stop minor technical errors from sinking enterprise agreements.
Under the legislation which passed parliament on Wednesday night, the Fair Work Commission will no longer have to conduct reviews of awards every four years.
The commission will have more power to approve enterprise agreements despite minor procedural or technical errors made during bargaining, provided the errors do not disadvantage employees.
The bill had stalled after Labor tacked on changes to restore penalty rates in the Senate, but the lower house rejected the amendments in the final sitting week of the year.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said he was thankful politicians put aside differences to pass the legislation.
"The bill has been stalled in Parliament for the past 18 months and it is very pleasing to see that the bill has finally been approved," Mr Willox said on Thursday.
Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O'Dwyer described the changes as common sense reforms.
"Under the current arrangements we have seen unintended, and sometimes absurd, outcomes which have caused lengthy delays," Ms O'Dwyer said.
"For example, the Fair Work Commission has rejected an enterprise agreement where an employer printed the notice to employees at the start of the bargaining process on to a piece of paper with the company letterhead on it, rather than a plain piece of paper."
She said the changes would allow agreements to take effect sooner and deliver pay rises earlier.
Australian Associated Press