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Australian HR Compliance Navigator Report Q1 and Q2

Jun 16, 2023

Key Takeaways from the UK 2022 Autumn Statement

Key updates on employment and workplace changes and major case law developments in Australia. 

Because we’ve reached the second quarter of 2023, it’s an excellent time to digest your Australian HR Compliance Navigator Report for Q1 and Q2. Developed for HR professionals by Senior Associate Amanda Curatore of HR Assured, a partner of WorkForce Software, our summary saves you time to run your business without having to be an HR expert on top of your busy responsibilities.  

Fair Work Legislation Amendments

By far, the most significant recent update to workforce and HR compliance is the arrival of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 

New rights under the Fair Work Act began applying on 7 December 2022, not only to change existing rules but also to introduce a range of new workplace laws for “a better deal and a better future” for Australian workers, in the words of the Australian Government.  

In practical terms, this is what the changes to the Fair Work Act will mean for your workplace: 

  • Gender equity: The Fair Work Commission must account for the need to achieve gender equity when performing its functions. 
  • Pay secrecy prohibitions: there is a new positive right for employees and prospective employees, to disclose (or not disclose) information concerning their remuneration structure to others.  
  • Unlawful job ads: From 7 January 2023, job advertisements cannot include pay rates that would breach the Fair Work Act or a fair work instrument such as an award or enterprise agreement.  
  • There is now a firmer and clarified prohibition of sexual harassment in connection with work. This includes sexual harassment perpetrated by third parties, such as customers or clients.  
  • Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against current or future employees because of three named attributes: Breastfeeding, gender identity, and intersex status.  
  • Unpaid parental leave changes: From 6 June 2023, employers will have new requirements to follow when responding to employees’ requests for an extension of unpaid parental leave. The employer must provide an employee a response within 21 days of the employee making a request to extend their unpaid parental leave – with limited grounds under which an employer can refuse.  

Our article also explains the Fair Work Act’s crucial updates about the limit of fixed-term/ maximum-term contracts, flexible working arrangements, the enterprise agreement pre-approval process, new Initiation of Bargaining requirements and changes to the Better Off Overall Test. 

Paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave

It’s important that your staff are aware the Fair Work Act has been amended to provide 10-days paid leave on account of family and domestic violence.  

For large businesses, the leave entitlement came into effect on 1 February 2023 and for small businesses (<15 employees) the change will come into effect on 1 August 2023.  

Readers can find fine details about payments, hours, the effect on casual loading and definition of family in our article, which is an easily-digestible summary of eligibility and entitlement details.  


The Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022 amends the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to impose a positive duty on employers to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Our article gives helpful examples of how employers can enact their new duty to eliminate unlawful sexual discrimination including implementing the right policies and procedures collecting and monitoring data including staff surveys, and delivering training, education and support.  

Lessons to learn: Crucial Case Law updates are also covered in the article 

A number of important recent cases highlight the sometimes-surprising decisions of courts and how essential it is to maintain compliance with HR laws by using wraparound support such as HR Assured.  

  • The first criminal charges for wage theft from Wage Inspectorate Victoria have been brought against an employer in Australia as a restaurant in Victoria faces criminal prosecution over allegations that it withheld thousands of dollars worth of wages from its employees.   
  • In another recent case, Trevor Purves v Queensland Rail Transit Authority [2022] FWC 3343, the Fair Work Commission reinstated a Queensland Rail trackworker sacked for breaching the organisation’s zero alcohol policy, finding the dismissal harsh after his unblemished 39-year tenure, his age and limited education. 

Q1-Q2 2023 HR Compliance Navigator Report  

Developed in partnership with HR Assured, this report looks at the latest in workplace legislation, case law and best practices in Australia. 

Read the Full Report
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