2023 - Some Changes to Employment Law

By Robert Lamb, Director at Hillhouse Legal Partners
| 2 min. read

Key takeaways

  • Significant changes to employment law in 2023. 
  • The first Bill promises better job security and conditions and gender equality.
  • The second Bill, now Law as at 10 November 2022, introduces paid domestic violence leave.

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 has passed the Federal House of Representatives and is currently before committee with a report due 17 November 2022.  The Bill will then be put before the Senate.  It is anticipated that the Bill will become law in early 2023. 

The Bill, if passed, will make some significant changes to the law regarding employment including: 

  1. The Fair Work Act’s objects will be expanded to include job security and gender equality;
  2. A prohibition on employers stopping employees from talking about and disclosing information concerning remuneration structure;
  3. Broader protection against employees and candidates against sexual harassment including ensuring employers do not create a hostile work environment;
  4. Requiring employers to make genuine efforts to identify alternative and flexible working arrangements;
  5. Prohibiting engagement of an employee on a fixed term contract with a periods of 2 or more years;
  6. Clarifying the Better off Overall Test. 

The Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 is also before the Federal Parliament and has passed both houses and received royal assent on 9 November 2022.

 This legislation will amend the National Employment Standards, which is the safety net for all employees in Australia. 

There is a current entitlement concerning family and domestic violence leave (FDV) which is 5 days of unpaid leave:

 The new law allows the following regarding FDV leave. 

  1. The proposed amendments will ensure all employees including casual employees will be entitled to 10 days paid FDV leave;
  2. The FDV leave will not accumulate year to year but will be available at the start of each 12 month period of the employee’s employment;
  3. FDV leave will be paid at the employee’s full rate of pay including loading, allowance, and overtime and penalty rates. 

The amendments will commence in stages over the next 12 months.

If you would like further advice about the impact of these Bills on your business please contact me at robert@hillhouse.com.au or call 07 3220 1144.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.