The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 was passed late last year in response to issues surrounding wage growth, gender equality in the workplace, and enterprise agreements.
The bill is one part of a sweep of industrial relations laws that have passed in recent months, addressing key topics of significance to Australian business owners and their employees.
The Fair Work Ombudsman released a calendar outlining the series of rule changes due to take place commencing December 2022 through to December 2023.
Of the rule changes, Professional Beauty has identified those likely to impact beauty small business owners and their employees most.
Here are the rule changes and timings most relevant to beauty and nail salon owners, solo artists, and staff:
The following amendments came into effect from 7 December last year:
- The relaxing of rules surrounding pay secrecy, whereby employees cannot be penalised for asking, or sharing with, their colleagues information regarding rates of pay. Breeching new prohibitions could result in penalties such as court proceedings for employers;
- Greater rights around breastfeeding, gender identity and intersex identity have been enforced, meaning employees and future employees who experience adverse action because of these attributes may be able to make a complaint through the Fair Work Commission (the Commission);
- A new equal remuneration principle, whereby greater steps will be taken to ensure workers in low-paid, female dominated industries are to receive pay increases.
The following amendments came into effect from this month:
- Job ads cannot include pay rates that undercut those outlined by The Fair Work Act (or a fair work instrument such as an award or enterprise agreement). Job ads marketing pieceworker roles entitled to an hourly or weekly rate of pay, for example, will need to specify the periodic pay rate (or at the least, state that a periodic pay rate will apply).
Updates were made to the pay rates of workers under the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2020 (AM2022/33) last December. You can find more information on minimum wages relevant to you here.
The following amendments will also come into effect throughout 2023:
- Flexible working arrangements – whereby employees who are a) pregnant, or b) experiencing family or domestic violence, are entitled to flexible working arrangements. If an employer refuses to provide such, a series of steps are required to be taken by the employer, such as providing a written response on why they have refused the request;
- Fixed term contracts – such contracts can no longer run for more than a total of two years, unless the employee is under a training arrangement, or is covered under a specific award that allows for their contract to be extended;
- Sexual harassment – greater support to be provided to those who experience sexual harassment in the workplace, whereby protections will apply to workers including employees, contractors, work experience students and volunteers, as well as future workers, and anyone conducting a business or undertaking;
- Unpaid parental leave – employees are to be better supported in their applications for unpaid parental leave extensions. If an employer refuses to provide such, a series of steps are required to be taken by the employer, such as providing a written response on why they have refused the request;
- Responsibilities of The Registered Organisations Commissioner (ROC) will shift to the General Manager of the Fair Work Commission (the Commission). The Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association (HABA) is a registered organisation under the ROC.
On the shift, HABA’s Jan Gawel told Professional Beauty: “In reality, ROC is simply being moved into the Fair Work Commission. We do not see their role changing too much. With that said, employees and Unions have never had a bigger voice at the table with the broader changes to the Fair Work Act. HABA represents employers and business, so now more than ever, we will be bringing their interests to The Commission. The industry has been under immense pressures, so we need sensible legislation that encompasses all stake holders, not just employees.”
“The industry has been under immense pressures, so we need sensible legislation that encompasses all stake holders, not just employees.” – Jan Gawel
Changes surrounding enterprise agreements are also expected this year, however The Aesthetic & Beauty Industry Council (ABIC) notes that such changes are unlikely to impact professional beauty workers unless “employees have an enterprise agreement in place, enter into one in the future or operate in an industry with a union presence.” ABIC provides a detailed break-down of all recent legislation changes on its website.
To view the full calendar of rule changes, and specific dates on when they will take effect, visit The Fair Work Ombudsman website.
To read The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 in full, visit this link.
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