On 7 December 2022 saw a major reform in Employment law through the implementation of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 (Cth) (Act). This change saw many changes come into effect, including provisions regarding pay secrecy.

Previously, it was not uncommon for Employers to have a pay secrecy clause in Employment contracts prohibiting Employees from disclosing their pay details to others.

From 7 December 2022 all new Employees and Employees on an award, enterprise agreement or other Fair Work Instrument have an established workplace right to share details about their pay and benefits and to ask other Employees about their pay details. They can also ask about the terms of their employment.

This can also apply to Employees with an employment contract, but only in certain circumstances.

Employees will not be required to disclose information should they not wish to.

The changes also see Employers now being prohibited from taking adverse action against Employees for disclosing this information to others. If they do, Fair Work Ombudsman can impose penalties and the Employee can make general protections claims (general workplace claim) against their Employer.

However, it is noted that if you are a contracted Employee and have a pay secrecy clause in your contract, and your Employment contract has not been amended in any way since 7 December 2022, then the secrecy clause in your contract will still apply.

Any amendment to your current contract will automatically invoke this change and your pay secrecy clause will no longer apply.

Remember a change to your contract can be as simple as agreeing to work from home, a pay rise, change of your working hours, or a change to your role. It does not need to be a specific change relating to these provisions. They also do not have to be in writing.

In addition, from 7 June 2023, Employers can also no longer include pay secrecy clauses in Employment contracts, or they can face penalties of up to $66,600.00.

Employment law is tricky and has very strict deadlines for claims, if you need help with employment law, contact Everingham Solomon’s team of experienced Solicitors because Helping You is Our Business.

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