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Changes to Workplace Laws – What You Need to Know

This article is sponsored by Fair Work Ombudsman

There are new workplace laws and changes to awards that might affect you.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has a summary of the recent changes, but here are a few changes you should be aware of:

Secure Jobs Better Pay

The Fair Work Act was amended to change a number of existing rules and include a range of new laws. Many of these changes started on 7 December 2022, but there are other changes still coming.

From 7 January 2023, job advertisements (ads) can’t include pay rates that undercut employee’s minimum entitlements, regardless of when the ad was originally posted.

To find out more about the Secure Jobs, Better Pay changes, please visit www.fairwork.gov.au/SJBP

Aged care sector

From 30 June 2023, direct care and some senior food services employees in the aged care sector received a 15% increase to minimum wages. Read the FWO’s new article on the 15% wage increase for the aged care sector.

Minimum wage increase

As a result of the 2023 Annual Wage Review decision, the national minimum wage increased from 1 July 2023.

For employees who are not covered by an award, enterprise agreement or another registered agreement, the national minimum wage is $23.23 per hour, or $29.04 per hour for casual employees.

Lower rates may apply to juniors (under 21), apprentices, trainees and employees with disability whose disability affects their productivity.

Family and domestic violence leave

From 1 August 2023, employees (including casuals) of small business employers can access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period.

Employees (including casuals) of a non-small business employer have been able to access the leave from 1 February 2023.

To find out more about family and domestic violence leave and how to access it, visit www.fairwork.gov.au/FDVLeave

Protecting worker entitlements 

On 22 June 2023, the Australian Government passed the Protecting Worker Entitlement laws. The legislation introduced more changes to the Fair Work Act.

Some take effect now, while others start later this year or in 2024.

From 1 July 2023 there is clarity on protections for migrant workers. The change confirms that migrant workers have rights and entitlements under the Fair Work Act, regardless of their status under the Migration Act 1958, including if they’ve breached a work-related employment condition or don’t have the right to work in Australia.

To find out more about the Protecting Worker Entitlements changes, please visit www.fairwork.gov.au/pwe.

Free FWO webinars

The FWO also regularly hosts free webinars for employers and employees on different topics. In September and October, the FWO will host the following webinars:

You are encouraged to register and attend these important information sessions as they are not recorded.

Got a question or want to stay up to date with information about workplace laws?

You can find out more information about your workplace rights and entitlements at the FWO’s website www.fairwork.gov.au. To keep up to date or if you have a question, you can: