HR Tips & Answers

Secure Jobs Better Pay legislation – what is it and how will it impact your business?

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 was passed by Federal Parliament in what’s being called the most significant proposed change to Australian industrial relations legislation for many years.

This Bill has direct implications for all workers and seeks to create job stability, fair pay and gender equality, and new protections for employees with the long-term aim of boosting productivity gains and economic output.

What are the amendments?

  • Objects – to include job security and gender equity, particularly around fair wages, and equal pay for equal work.
  • Prohibiting pay secrecy – In line with gender equity, there will be a right for employees to disclose information in relation to their own remuneration. It is expected to provide transparency and remove bias between genders and other groups.
  • Prohibiting sexual harassment at work – Broader protections against sexual harassment for all workers, including candidates is being implemented.
  • Flexible working arrangements – the Bill requires employers to make ‘genuine efforts’ to identify and consider alternative working arrangements. Where a request cannot be accommodated.  Written details of refusal and the grounds will be relied upon, will need to be provided by the employer.
  • Fixed term contracts – employers will no longer be able to engage an employee with a fixed term contract for longer than two years, or on a contract that maybe extended more than once.  Employees may have entitlements to claim permanent on-going employment.
  •  Industry bargaining – Proposed to promote a supported stream whilst introducing changes, such as processes instigating bargaining, approving agreements, and empowering the FWC to correct or amend errors with enterprise agreements.
  • Sunsetting zombie agreements – It is proposed that all zombie agreements will sunset after a grace period. The FWC may extend the grace period if certain conditions are met.  Employer will need to assess the implications for their business and possible options.
  •  Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) – ensuring that employees have favourable working conditions and the right to work under enterprise agreements, when compared to the relevant modern award. The amendment demonstrates that the BOOT is applied flexibly overall rather than a line-by-line comparison.  This will return the BOOT to its original intention.


Some changes started on 7 December 2022 while the remainder of the Bill will be implemented in 2023.

If you need more information on the Bill and how it will affect your business Leisa and her team are here to help.  Give us a call on 02 6009 1000 or call into the WorkBetter office at 52 High St, Wodonga.

The WorkBetter Team

Published: Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

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