By Amy La Verde

14 June 2023

As we enter the latter half of the year, it is imperative for employers and businesses to remain updated on the evolving employment law landscape in Australia. This article serves as the second instalment of our coverage, focusing on the upcoming changes in employment law and their implications for workplaces. Should you have any inquiries or require assistance concerning these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 AS OF 7 JUNE 2023

The Secret’s Out: Penalties for pay secrecy clauses in contract

Employment contracts often contain provisions requiring employees to keep their renumeration confidential. As of 7 June 2023, it is prohibited to include pay secrecy terms in employment contracts. Any employment contract provisions that contradicts this will be deemed invalid, and employers who continue to include inconsistent provisions in contracts after the new provisions take effect can be liable to fines of up to $66,600 per breach. It is essential for employers to review their existing contracts as well as new or amended contracts to ensure that any terms in conflict with the new workplace rights are removed.

AS OF 1 JULY 2023

Superannuation Shake-Up: Changes coming your way

From 1 July 2023, the Super Guarantee will increase from 10.5% to 11%. Employers need to ensure that they are paying the correct superannuation contributions on behalf of their employees

Boosting Wages: Updated Minimum Wage Rates

Each year, the Fair Work Commission reviews both the National Minimum Wage and minimum pay rates under modern awards. The Fair Work Commission has announced that the award rates of pay will be increased by 5.75% effective from 1 July 2023 and the National Minimum Wage will increase from $21.38 per hour to $23.23 per hour, this is an 8.65% increase. Employers need to review their current employee pay rates and consider how the increases will impact payroll and pay obligations to staff who are paid award and minimum wage rates of pay.

Navigating Changes to Small Claims Court Procedures

Employees can now commence legal action against their employer to seek recovery for underpayment in the small claims court for up to $100,000. With the recent amendments, the monetary limit for small claims court proceedings under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) will rise from $20,000 to $100,000, and successful claimants may also be reimbursed for any filing fees they incur.



Paid Domestic Violence Leave Changes for Small Businesses

Employees employed by small business employers (employers with less than 15 employees) can access 10 days of paid domestic violence leave from 1 August 2023. This leave is available upfront and therefore, does not need to be accumulated over time. There are further rules regulating notice and evidence requirements which we can assist employers to understand if required.


Time’s Up: New Regulations for Fixed term contracts


The new regulations regarding fixed term contracts will commence on 7 December 2023, after having provided employers with a 12-month grace period. Under these rules, there are limits placed on the use of fixed-term contracts for the same role beyond two years (including renewals) or two consecutive contracts (whichever is shorter). If this requirement is breached, the employee would be considered a permanent employee. However, there are exceptions including but not limited to work for specialised tasks, training arrangements, peak periods, emergencies, high-income earners, government-funded positions without renewal prospects, etc. Employers should assess their current arrangements and determine if exceptions apply or if adjustments are necessary.


We advise employers to take the following steps:

  1. Conduct a thorough review of existing employment contracts and consult with legal professionals to make necessary amendments in accordance with the new legislation.
  1. Review pay structure to ensure compliance with the minimum superannuation rates and minimum wage rates as stipulated in the National Employment Standard and relevant modern awards.

If you have any questions or require further guidance regarding these upcoming changes, our experienced employment team is here to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Simon Abraham, Amy La Verde for all your employment law needs.

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