KEEPING UP TO DATE
Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 – what you need to know about gender equity
14 December 2022
With the change in Government in May 2022, we have seen a strong push to pursue changes to the national industrial relations system to ensure these are applied equitably for all employees. In order to achieve this the Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) has been introduced which varies the Fair Work Act (cth) 2009 (FWA 2009).
The Bill was passed in parliament in early December 2022 and an overview of the changes and implications are included below. Broadly the changes cover gender equity, flexible work arrangements, sexual harassment, discrimination, job security and bargaining.
Gender Equity / restricting pay secrecy
Gender equity has been given an uphaul in respect to the FWA 2009 and Modern Awards. With these changes the ability to include pay secrecy clauses in employment agreements has been removed and if included could attract civil penalties to employers.
Employment agreements will now no longer be able to include clauses which prohibit employees from talking about their renumeration and any terms and conditions within their employment agreement which could reasonably determine renumeration outcomes, such as bonus structures and incentive plans. This has been included as a workplace right in accordance with the General Protections provisions of the FWA 2009.
- Update all template employment agreements to ensure they do not include a pay secrecy clause – this will ensure all contracts are correct for all future employees
- A letter should be issued to all employees to inform employees that the confidentiality around remuneration is no longer valid
- Communicate with your teams about appropriate communication and be transparent about how pay is determined in your workplace
The new legislation also proposes abolishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Registered Organisations Commission with their functions transferred to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
This brief only provides a summary of the information in the Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022. Employers should not rely on its contents for legal or professional HR advice. For further information and to access a full copy of the Bill you can via the Federal Government Federal Register of Legislation website Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 .
If you have any questions or seeking advice on how this affects your business, please contact our Senior Impact HR Consultants on 1300 474 672 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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