In December 2022 the Australian Government passed new workplace laws regarding pay secrecy and job advertisements as part of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation. Some of these changes are effective now, while other changes will go through a transitional phase. Keep reading as we step through these changes.
Pay information sharing
Employees now have the right to disclose information regarding their pay and employment conditions that are needed to work out their pay, such as hours of work, if they choose to do so. They are also able to ask other employees (within their workplace or another) about their pay and employment conditions, however other employees are not required to respond with this information if they don’t want to.
Action cannot be taken against an employee who exercises these rights.
These new changes apply to employees who entered into an employment contract on or after 7 December 2022 or where an employment contract was entered into before 7 December 2022 but does not include pay secrecy terms.
Pay secrecy terms
Employment contracts, awards or agreements with pay secrecy terms that are in breach of the above workplace rights will be banned from new employment contracts, written agreements, existing contracts and new or existing awards and agreements.
Pay secrecy terms are invalid if an employment contract has been entered into on or after 7 December which includes pay secrecy terms.
An employer will not be able to enter into an employment contract or agreement with pay secrecy terms from 7 June 2023.
If you have an existing employment contract entered into before 7 December 2022 with pay secrecy terms it will continue until the contract is varied. Once it has been varied the pay secrecy terms will not longer be valid.
Workplace awards or enterprise agreements are different to employment contracts. Pay secrecy terms in these types of documents are invalid after 7 December 2022.
Job advertisements for piecework positions
Piecework positions are roles in which an employee is paid for the amount of work completed, e.g. how much picked, packed, or pruned. From 7 January 2023 all piecework job ads (including ads previously listed) where the employee is entitled to an hourly or weekly rate must state the hourly pay rate applicable or what periodic pay rate will apply.