Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill to be introduced to Federal Parliament next week, but how far it goes is still unknown

Saul Harben, Jesse Rutigliano
19 Oct 2022
Time to read: 1 minutes

The Federal Government has moved on workplace relations reform with the announcement this morning that it will introduce the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill to Federal Parliament on Thursday 27 October 2022.

The Bill is intended to modernise Australia’s workplace relations system, with an emphasis on boosting wages and closing the gender pay gap.

Key aspects of the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill

Some of the key elements of the Bill announced this morning include:

  • A prohibition on “pay secrecy clauses”, which will prevent employers from restricting employees discussing their pay and remuneration;
  • Making gender equity a central objective of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), including the modern award system;
  • Establishing two new Fair Work Commission Expert Panels, which will deal with Pay Equity and the Care and Community Sector; and
  • Increasing the Fair Work Commission’s ability to order pay increases for workers in low-paid, female-dominated industries, by putting in place a statutory equal remuneration policy, similar to the Equal Remuneration Principle utilised by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

What is still unclear, however, is whether the Bill will include the mooted introduction of multi-employer bargaining, changes to the Better Off Overall Test, or other proposals that emerged from the Jobs & Skills Summit last month.

The Labor Government has promised to release further details of the Bill’s content by the end of next week, as it continues to hold consultation session with key stakeholders.

Key takeaways

It is essential that employers stay updated with the evolution of the Bill so they can shape it through the consultation process and ensure they are compliant with all elements that are eventually passed into law. This is especially so if the bargaining, BOOT or other major changes are made.

Clayton Utz is happy to assist with compliance reviews, advice, and presentations.

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