IR Updates

The ACA provides regular updates on changing industrial relations matters. See below for the latest news and information.


Sexual Harassment Reforms – What They Mean For Employers

6 March 2023

Recent anti-discrimination and Fair Work amendment legislation has introduced a number of important legislative changes specifically targeting sexual harassment in the workplace. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides a recap of the changes and their implications for employers.

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New Workplace Laws – Sexual Harassment

1 March 2023

New federal legislation has strengthened workplace laws around sexual harassment. From 6 March, the prohibition of sexual harassment in the workplace is enshrined in the Fair Work Act, and there is now a positive duty on employers to prevent workplace sexual harassment, sex discrimination and victimisation. Here we highlight some relevant ACA resources.

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New Workplace Laws – Pay Secrecy & Job Ads

25 January 2023

New workplace laws now apply regarding pay secrecy clauses in employment agreements and what you can include in job advertisements. These laws are part of the Fair Work Amendment legislation that was passed by the Federal parliament in December 2022.

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Fair Work Amendment Act – An Overview

7 December 2022

The Federal government’s recent workplace relations reform legislation, first introduced six weeks ago, passed both houses of parliament and is due to come into law imminently. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides an overview of the legislation amendments and their implications for employers.

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Employment Agreement Templates – User Guide

5 December 2022

This User Guide is a companion to the new ACA Employment Agreement Templates, offering advice on how to best use these templates within practice. Topics include pay rates, allowances, amending Schedule A, amending the contract, adding a position description and re-issuing contracts to existing employees.

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Updated Employment Agreement Templates

5 December 2022

The ACA is delighted to release an updated version of the Employment Agreement templates to support members. This follows a plain language review of our template employment contracts with Fair Work Lawyers to ensure they are user friendly as well as legally compliant. Download today!

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Paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave Entitlements

17 November 2022

On 9 November, the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 received royal assent. This legislation introduces paid family and domestic violence leave to all employees as an entitlement under the National Employment Standards. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides the following update for ACA members.

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Fair Work Amendment Bill

28 October 2022

On 27 October, the Federal Government issued its long-awaited workplace relations reform. The document spans some 240-odd pages of dense legislation and if passed will represent some of the most significant employment reforms in well over a decade. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides an initial review of the legislation.

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The Removal of Mandatory COVID-19 Isolation

10 October 2022

Mandatory COVID isolation periods will be removed nationally on 14 October, with a more direct burden on employers to address COVID risk within the workplace under WHS laws. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers teases out the issue in his latest IR Update for ACA members.

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One-off Public Holiday

15 September 2022

The Prime Minister has announced a national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, to be held on Thursday, 22 September 2022. This is intended to be a one-off public holiday rather than a recurring one. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers takes us through what this means for businesses. 

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2022 Architects Award Pay Rates

30 June 2022

The 2022 Federal Industrial Awards pay rates for awards relevant to architectural practice are applicable from 1 July 2022. Download the new rates today!

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Fair Work Commission Wage Decision 2022

15 June 2022

The Fair Work Commission has just handed down the 2022 wage decision, increasing the national minimum wage and base rates of pay in modern awards. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides a summary of the decision. The ACA will update relevant Award pay rates as soon as possible.

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Fair Work Decision on Family & Domestic Violence Leave

17 May 2022

The Fair Work Commission has handed down a major decision supporting 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave for modern award workers. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers unpacks the detail of the decision.

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Independent Contractors Key High Court Decisions

16 February 2022

On 9 February 2022, the High Court handed down two long-awaited decisions regarding the engagement of independent contractors as compared to employees, an issue that has long been filled with complexity and fraught with risk. Tom Earls unpacks the detail of the decisions and outlines the key takeaways for ACA members.

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COVID-19 & the Workplace – IR Update

21 January 2022

As the Omicron strain continues to wreak havoc across the country, Emma Avey from Fair Work Lawyers provides timely advice on workplace issues, including WHS consultation with employees, Rapid Antigen Testing, and managing leave entitlements.

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Vaccination Data & Privacy Considerations

26 November 2021

Practices need to take care when collecting and storing employee vaccination data. Tom Earls answers some timely questions for ACA members about vaccination certificates, privacy and risk.

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Vaccinations – Commonly Asked Questions

12 October 2021

As NSW comes out of lockdown, with Victoria soon to follow, questions continue to be raised about vaccinations and workplace rules. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers tackles some curly questions about vaccination status and the workplace for ACA members.

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Vaccinations – September Update

22 September 2021

Our legal advisor, Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers, has provided a further timely update for ACA members on the current advice around vaccination for employers, with a focus on assessing risks and implementing control measures, third-party mandates, workplace discrimination laws, employee refusal and vaccine incentives.

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Industrial Relations – FAQs

21 September 2021

At the ACA we are here to help you understand your industrial relations obligations. This FAQ article, prepared by Fair Work Lawyers, is designed to answer your commonly asked questions.

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Vaccinations & the Workplace

16 August 2021

Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides a timely update for ACA members on the current advice around vaccinations and the workplace.

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Casual Employment – An Explainer

6 July 2021

Tom Earls provides detailed analysis of employer obligations relating to casual engagements, and the key steps to take during the transitional window, which has the critical end date of 27 September 2021.

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Working from Home – A New Frontier

1 June 2021

Employment law does not always gel with new flexible work arrangements, but it must be considered before implementing a work-from-home system. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers unpacks relevant employer obligations for ACA members.

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Casual Employment Information Statement

30 March 2021

The new Casual Employment Information Statement is now available for download. All employers are obligated to give a copy of this statement to any new casual employee employed on or after 27 March 2021.

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New IR Legislation – Update

29 March 2021

A stripped back version of the Federal Government’s Industrial Relations bill was passed in parliament on 22 March, with amendments focusing on one issue only – casual employment. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides a summary for ACA members.

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Mandatory Vaccines – What Employers Need to Know

5 February 2021

The COVID crisis continues to pose many challenges for employers, often involving areas of the laws that were largely unexplored until the pandemic. The next such challenge relates to employers mandating vaccines. Tom Earls explores the issues for ACA members.

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Summary of New IR Legislation

10 December 2020

The Federal government announced its long awaited workplace relations reform package on 9 December, setting the scene for industrial relations to be at the forefront of the political agenda coming into 2021. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides a summary of the proposed legislation for ACA members.

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2020 Industrial Relations Overview

8 December 2020

As the year draws to a close, we provide a 2020 summary of the changes made to the Architects Award and other awards relevant to architectural practice.

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Clerks Award Flexibility Extended

29 March 2021

The temporary Schedule I in the Clerks Award, which allows for additional flexibility to assist employers and employees during the pandemic, has been extended to 30 June 2021.

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Industrial Relations Update

27 September 2020

This IR update relates to recent changes to two modern awards regarding payment of wages on termination, and further clarification on an Architects Award clause relating to a pay scale for the new classification of Bachelor’s Degree with a Pathway to a Master of Architecture.

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Unpaid Pandemic Leave & Annual Leave at Half Pay

19 January 2022

The Fair Work Commission has extended the entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay for many awards to 30 June 2022.

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2019 Industrial Relations Overview

4 December 2019

The ACA continues to represent architectural employers on industrial relations matters, to keep members informed about changes that impact them, and to support architects to be fair and ethical employers. As 2019 comes to a close we review the changes that have occurred this year.

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2018 Updates to Architects Award

12 December 2018

As the year draws to a close, we take a brief look at the changes made to the Architects Award this year.

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Flexibility - New Award Clauses

28 November 2018

New clauses in Modern Awards aim to further support flexible work. The ACA outlines what this might mean, how employers can prepare for these changes, and where to find good material to support flexible workplaces.

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ACA Provides Valuable Input to New Architects Award

16 July 2018

The ACA continues to advocate for its members as the Architects Award is reviewed by the Fair Work Commission.

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The ACA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and waters of Australia.