Amendments to the Fair Work Act and Migration Act have passed Parliament and will now come into place.

The bill passed after Greens Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan threw their support behind it, it was the last key bill of the Gillard Government. The new laws force employers to perform local labour market testing and prove they could not find an Australian citizen to do a job before sponsoring a foreign worker on a 457 visa. Employers will now also spend a percentage of their payroll on training local staff and visa holders.

The bill has caught the ire of many Australian construction and infrastructure industry bodies. The Housing Industry Association says the amendments were “rushed through” and will “result in more cot, complexity and confusion for residential construction businesses,” they say more consultation should have taken place before the bill was submitted.

The Australian Industry Group says the “unbalanced” Fair Work Amendment Bill give Unions carte blanche in cafeterias, AI Group Chief Executive Innes Wilcox says “The new legislation gives union officials an absolute right to hold their meetings in lunchrooms regardless of whether or not there are any union members employed by a business.”