KEEPING UP TO DATE
Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 – what you need to know about job security and fixed term contracts
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.
Job Security / Fixed Term contracts
Increasing job security is a high priority within this Bill. There will now be restrictions placed on how long you can engage an employee on a fixed term contract. The maximum term is now capped at two years. There are some exceptions to this rule including extensions for a specialised task, Government funded positions or other permissions stipulated in a Modern Award clause.
Employers will also now be required to issue a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement to employees who are employed on fixed term contracts, similar to the information sheet provided to employees employed on casual contracts. This document will be developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman and will include provisions to ensure employees do not terminate and re-engage to bypass the capped period.
The new legislation allows a period of 12 moths to adjust any fixed-term contracts.
- Conduct a complete review of all employees engaged on fixed and max term contracts to determine what changes may need to be made and what possible exemptions may apply
- Consider changes to your current employment practices in relation to fixed and max term contracts
- It would be considered best practice to review all independent contractors at this point to ensure they are truly working as contractors and are not contractors deemed employees
- Download and save the new Fixed Term Contract Information Sheet, ensure this is added to your onboarding processes
- Set review dates for all fixed and max term contracts to ensure sufficient time is allowed to review and implement actions
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 email@example.com .
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