1 min read

9 things to put on your 2023 to-do list

Last year saw substantial changes to employment and industrial relations laws. As we return to work for a new year, some of the things that employers should be considering are set out below:

  1. If you engage permanent employees under contracts for an identifiable period, you will need to address the new prohibition in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) on successive fixed-term engagements or use of fixed-term contracts for longer than 2 years.
  2. Revise your procedures and guidelines for considering requests for flexible work arrangements in line with the additional FW Act requirements.
  3. Review employment contracts and policies to remove pay secrecy clauses.
  4. Ensure that any job advertisements that specify a pay rate accurately reflect the prospective employee’s entitlements under the FW Act or an applicable modern award or enterprise agreement.
  5. Revise bargaining strategy in light of risk of being ‘roped-in’ to industry bargaining or subject to compulsory arbitration by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
  6. If you haven’t considered collective bargaining because you are a small business or government-funded organisation, consider the new bargaining streams that are designed to make it easier to make an enterprise agreement.
  7. Given the greater role for the FWC to deal with bargaining disputes, reassess your industrial relations capability. Perhaps it’s time to renew your membership of an industry association.
  8. If you have a ‘zombie agreement’ that was made under the WorkChoices laws, ensure a new agreement is made in its place before it sunsets on 6 December 2023 (or seek an extension of its life from the FWC).
  9. Review your policies that deal with sexual harassment, bullying and sex-based discrimination to ensure they align with recent changes to legislation. Ensure managers and staff receive refresher training.
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