What steps Australian employers must now undertake as a consequence of recent substantive legislative changes
Author: Jennifer Sung, Lawyer
This article will deal with both the legislative changes made and steps that Australian employers must now take to comply with those changes.
A. Secure Jobs Better Pay Act
MST, in its article dated 2 December 2022, summarised the key amendments made to the Fair Work Act by the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022.
In our further article dated 9 December 2022, we outlined important dates for when these new laws take effect.
B. Respect@Work Act
On 28 November 2022, the Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Bill 2022 (Bill) was passed by both houses of Parliament and received Royal Assent on 12 December 2022.
The Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022 (Act) implements a number of recommendations made by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in its Respect@Work: National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces report and has significant implications for all workplaces.
We previously provided a summary of the proposed changes in the first version of the draft Bill which can be found here.
All changes outlined in our previous article were implemented except for the proposed introduction of a “cost-free jurisdiction” to claims made to a Court under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) (AHRC Act). This proposed change was removed from the final version of the Bill.
All changes introduced by the Act are now in operation, with the exception of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s new compliance and investigative powers, which come into effect on 12 December 2023.
C. Critical steps for employers
MST has developed a checklist that identifies what steps an employer must undertake to ensure compliance with these new laws.
The 2023 employment law checklist can be downloaded here.