The Closing Loopholes And Other Reforms: The Many Changes To IR Laws That Will Impact Business In 2024

A number of notable changes to the laws governing the workplace that will affect the way in which organisations conduct their business. These changes have been driven by the current Labour Government’s desire to reform the Australian workforce to deal with discrimination at work, wage theft, engagement of employees and a number of other matters.

Annual Employment Law Wrap Up: The year that was and the changes still to come  

As the year comes to a close, and businesses start to get ready for the end of the year shut down period, it is an opportune time for businesses to reflect on the changes which have been made in the employment law space during 2023 and the commensurate changes these have necessitated in business practice and policy. However, businesses should ensure that they also do not lose track of the changes which will be implemented before the holiday shut down period. As such, this article serves both as a reminder of the amendments which have come into effect this year as well as those which will come into effect in the upcoming weeks.

Get Your House In Order: AHRC Releases Guidelines for Employer “Positive Duty” to Eliminate Sexual Harassment

Whilst the Positive Duty came into effect in December 2022, there has been limited practical guidance on how the employers’ Positive Duty could be fulfilled until the AHRC published its ‘Guidelines for Complying with the Positive Duty under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)’ (“Guidelines”) in August 2023.The Guidelines set out practical steps and provide organisations and businesses with examples and guidance regarding the steps required to discharge their Positive Duty.

Significant Reforms To The Unfair Contract Terms Jurisdiction: When Do The Changes Commence and How They Affect You?

Major amendments to the unfair contractual terms (“UCT”) regime were introduced by the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 (Cth) (the Amending Act) (“Amending Act”) which received royal assent on 9 November 2022, and which comes into effect this year, on 9 November 2023.

Do I Really Have To Do That? Are Employees Obliged To Do Everything Their Employer Tells Them To Do?

There is an implied term in every employment contract which requires an employee to comply with lawful and reasonable directions from their employer. Often, written contracts of employment will include an express term to this effect. The term goes to the core of the employment relationship. It gives effect to the right of employers to exert ‘’control’ over an employee’s performance and conduct at work. This includes the employer’s ability to dictate what the employee will be doing during their employment, how they will do it, when they will do it and where they will do it.

Does an Employer Need to Offer Overseas Redeployment Opportunities for a Redundancy to be Genuine?

Redundancies are an unfortunate but necessary part of the business cycle for a variety of reasons. The redundancy process can be quite complex and the recent decision of Alesia Khliustova v Isoton Pty Ltd [2023] FWC 658 is a particularly precautionary tale for employers looking to make roles redundant. The Isoton Decision which was recently handed down is significant, and is a useful illustration of when dismissal, because of redundancy, will be considered genuine.

Fair Work Commission – Increase to Minimum Wages

The Fair Work Commission (“FWC”) has recently published its Annual Wage Review. The FWC have announced:
• The National Minimum Wage will increase to $23.23 per hour, or $882.80 per week based on a 38 hour week.
• There will be a 5.75% increase to minimum modern award wages.
• The increase will commence from the first pay period following 1 July 2023.

The FWC’s decision will greatly impact many businesses given the current economic climate and struggles faced by companies over the past 12 months. As such, we have set out the changes and what employers need to know moving forward.

Working hard or hardly working? The Future of Work and Flexible Work Practices

How and when we work is continuously evolving and reveal that the traditional Monday to Friday in the office from 9-5pm is likely a thing of the past. If that that is the case businesses will need to be agile and adaptable to allow for seamless evolution to ensure productivity and the ability to retain and incentivise staff remain achievable goals. To do so, we’ll need to question how we view work. In this article, we will examine various flexible work arrangements and broadly evaluate their feasibility and discuss ways for business to best prepare for the future.

Smile for the Camera: Surveillance in the Workplace

As a result of recent security breaches, large scale hacking and other cyber security threats in the workplace, there is increasing pressure on businesses to implement more secure systems which can help prevent these types of threats. In addition to increased surveillance and other security technology, there has also been an uptake in the number of businesses which are introducing biometric authentication methods and facial recognition technologies into the workplace to increase their security, ease of access and precise data collection.


Ready to get started or need help?