Last Thursday, 28 October, the federal Government introduced the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 (‘Bill’). The Bill proposes to amend a number of sections of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (‘FW Act’) in the following ways:

  1. Inserting job equity principles into the FW Act;
  2. Amending enterprise bargaining provisions to:
  3. Increase access to single bargaining
  4. Increase multi-employer bargaining
  5. Amend the current Better Off Overall Test
  6. Amending FW Act section 65 flexibility requests provisions to enable disputes over reasonable business grounds to be dealt with by the Fair Work Commission;
  7. Limiting the use of fixed term contracts for the same role to a maximum of two years, or two consecutive contracts (whichever is the shorter). Note that a limited number of exemptions are proposed to apply;
  8. Sunsetting workplace agreements that were made prior to 2010 so they automatically cease to operate 12 months after the Bill takes effect;
  9. Prohibiting pay secrecy – to prevent employers from requiring staff to not disclose their salary;
  10. Expressly prohibiting sexual harassment in the FW Act;
  11. Abolishing the ABCC with the Fair Work Ombudsman to take on those functions;
  12. Abolishing the Registered Organisations Commission with the Fair Work Commission to take on those functions;
  13. Establishing new expert panels in the Fair Work Commission on pay equity and the care and community sector; and
  14. Increasing the cap that an employee can claim in unpaid wages from $20,0000 to $100,000.

* This is not an exhaustive list

What Does This Mean?

The Bill proposes a number of changes to the FW Act and employers need to be across what the changes will mean for them.

At the date of this IR Alert, the Bill is still before the House of Representatives and is unlikely to be approved by both the House and Senate prior to the end of 2022. While the Bill progresses through its usual approval process, CCIQ’s Workplace Services team will prepare a detailed overview of the Bill and what it means for members.

Relevant resources, including a webinar to explain the changes, will be available shortly to assist CCIQ members to navigate the reforms.

Please note that a second tranche of IR reforms is expected to be introduced in early 2023.


CCIQ members with any queries regarding information provided in this IR Alert are encouraged to contact the Employer Assistance team on 1300 135 822 or via email [email protected].