Changes to Fair Work Act in June

8 May 2023
Changes to Fair Work Act in June

Changes to workplace laws come into effect in June under the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act.

The Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act was passed in December 2022, making several changes to the Fair Work Act.

Providers should ensure they are compliant with these new requirements before they come into effect. The changes are being phased in progressively, with the following changes commencing in early June 2023:

Flexible work

From 6 June 2023, employees will have expanded rights to access flexible work arrangements and the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will have the power to arbitrate disputes over these provisions.

Extensions to unpaid parental leave

From 6 June 2023, if an employee’s request for additional unpaid parental leave is refused by their employer, the FWC will be able to arbitrate over the request.

Pay secrecy

From 7 June 2023, it will be unlawful to include pay secrecy terms in employment contracts. If an employer enters an employment contract that contains pay secrecy terms, a penalty may be imposed.

Zombie” agreements

Thousands of registered agreements were made before 2010, when the Fair Work Act commenced. Many of these agreements are decades’ old, and they may still be in force.

On 7 December 2023, these agreements will terminate unless an application is made to the FWC —the sunset date.

If a employee is covered by a zombie agreement, on or before 6 June 2023, the employer must give the employee written notice:

  • that the employee is covered
  • of the sunsetting period (7 December 2022 to 7 December 2023)
  • that the agreement will terminate on the sunset date unless an application to the FWC is made.

Failure to give proper notice could result in penalties being imposed.

Multi-employer bargaining

From 6 June 2023, workers and their unions will be able to bargain for an agreement that will apply to several employers.  

Advisory service now available

Labour hire providers are obliged to meet all award, super and taxation obligations set in the Fair Work Act 2009.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Employer Advisory Service provides free tailored advice about pay and conditions to small business owners. Smaller providers can utilise this service to ensure they are meeting their obligations. Learn more on the FWO website