On 11 December 2017 the President of the FWC made a statement in which he expressed a provisional view that it is not practicable for another four year review to commence until the current review has been completed and before the parties have been given an opportunity to consider how the reviewed awards operate in practice.
Although the current four year review of modern awards is still underway, and not likely to reach completion before the end of 2018, the Fair Work Commission is required to conduct automatic four yearly reviews of modern awards. The next anniversary date for commencing a review is January 2018.
Unfinished matters include the issues common to many modern awards including annual leave, family and domestic violence leave and payment of wages.
The FWC is seeking submissions on a delayed start, which is likely to be supported by both employer and union parties. For over a year, employers and unions have been seeking an end to this protracted and resource intensive process through changes to the Fair Work Act. However this Bill has not passed the Senate and was recently utilised by the Labor Party in seeking to overturn the 2017 FWC decision to reduce certain weekend penalty rates. So legislative change is unlikely in the near future.