The Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill passed through Parliament on 2 December and subsequently received royal assent on 6 December.
The Fair Work Commission has clarified when various elements of the new IR laws will come into effect and what steps it has taken to prepare for their "significant impact".
Below is an overview of the Commission's actions so far, and its next steps.
Some of the legislative amendments have already commenced while others will start in stages over the next 12 months.
Those starting on 7 December (the day after Royal Assent) include:
• objects of the FW Act, modern awards objective, minimum wage’s objective;
• equal remuneration;
• prohibiting pay secrecy;
• anti-discrimination and special measures;
• termination of enterprise agreements after the nominal expiry date;
• sunsetting of "zombie" agreements;
• initiating bargaining;
• dealing with errors in enterprise agreements; and
• communications to be available in multiple languages.
Other key dates include:
• 6 March 2023 – prohibition on sexual harassment in connection with work;
• 6 June 2023 – provisions relating to flexible work requests; and
• 6 December 2023 – prohibition on rolling fixed-term contracts.
Changes to EA approvals, the BOOT, bargaining disputes, single-interest employer authorisations and more are set to commence on 6 June 2023, or an earlier date to be fixed by proclamation.
Pay secrecy banned
Employees have new workplace rights to ask one another about their remuneration and disclose this, including work related conditions. Current employment contracts that include a pay secrecy clause will be considered void.
The Fair Work Commission will update its website in the coming weeks with information on the new pay secrecy amendments.
Dedicated website section
The Commission has established a dedicated section on its website for implementation of the reforms arising from the Act, which will be updated regularly and include:
• statements and information about the reforms;
• implementation plans;
• draft guidance, bench books, forms and other materials for comment;
• other opportunities to comment; and
• an email address for feedback.
For a summary of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill and the Respect at Work Amendments 2022 changes please download our brochure or contact us for a confidential discussion.