The Government has recently passed the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 to amend the Fair Work Act changing a number of existing rules and introducing a range of new workplace laws.
The new laws start on different dates.
Here is a brief summary of the new rules and changes to existing rules:
From 7 December 2022
The Fair Work Act now gives employees and future employees new workplace rights to:
- share or not share information about:
- their pay
- their employment terms and conditions that would be needed to work out their pay, such as their hours of work
- ask other employees (with the same or a different employer) about their:
- employment terms and conditions that would be needed to work out their pay, such as their hours of work.
There are new protected attributes at work:
- gender identity
- intersex status.
This means employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against current or future employees because of these attributes from this date.
From 7 January 2023
Job advertisements can’t include pay rates that would breach the Fair Work Act, or a fair work instrument (such as an award or enterprise agreement).
This means that job ads can’t include pay rates that are less than employees’ minimum entitlements.
From 6 March 2023
Prohibiting workplace sexual harassment
The Fair Work Act will prohibit sexual harassment in connection with work, which includes in the workplace. The protection won’t apply to sexual harassment of a worker that starts before 6 March 2023.
From 6 June 2023
The right to request flexible working arrangements will also apply to:
- employees, or a member of their immediate family or household, experiencing family and domestic violence
- employees who are pregnant.
Unpaid parental leave changes
There are changes to how employers need to respond to requests for extending unpaid parental leave. These new requirements apply to requests for an extension of unpaid parental leave made from 6 June 2023.
When an employee makes a request to extend their unpaid parental leave, the employer can:
- agree to the request, or
- discuss and agree with the employee to a different extension period.
The employer needs to put this in writing to the employee within 21 days of the request.
From 6 December 2023
Employers can no longer employ an employee on a fixed term contract that:
- is for 2 or more years (including extensions)
- may be extended more than once, or
- is a new contract:
- that is for the same or a substantially similar role as previous contracts
- with substantial continuity of the employment relationship between the end of the previous contract and the new contract, and either:
- the total period of the contracts is 2 or more years,
- the new contract can be renewed or extended, or
- a previous contract was extended.
From 6 December 2023, employers will have to give employees they’re engaging on new fixed term contracts a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement.
Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave
- Full-time, part-time and casual employees will be able to access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. It won’t be pro-rated for part-time or casual employees.
- The full 10-day leave entitlement will be available upfront. It won’t accumulate from year to year if it’s not used.
- The leave will be available from:
- 1 February 2023, for employees of non-small business employers (employers with 15 or more employees on 1 February 2023)
- 1 August 2023, for employees of small business employers (employers with less than 15 employees on 1 February 2023).
- From 1 February 2023, there are rules about information that must not be included on an employee’s pay slip relating to paid family and domestic violence leave.
- Employees will continue to be entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave until they can access the new paid entitlement.
If you need some help understanding how these new laws might affect your business, Karen Hillen from My HR Partner can help you.
For further expert advice on human resources or if you have any questions about anything HR related, get in touch.
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