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.

The new laws include:

  • giving employees the right to share (or not share) information about their pay
  • banning pay secrecy terms in employment contracts (download our recently updated and legally compliant Employment Agreement templates here – updated December 2022)
  • prohibiting job ads with pay rates lower than the legal minimum requirements (refer to our Industrial Relations Award Pay Rates Update, applicable from July 2022)

Pay Secrecy

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website includes extensive advice on the Pay Secrecy Laws, including the rights of employees and future employees to share (or not share) information about their pay and related employment terms and conditions, such as hours of work.

Pay secrecy terms are terms in employment contracts, awards or agreements that are inconsistent with the workplace rights described. From different start dates, these terms will be banned from being included in existing employment contracts as well as new employment contracts. Head to the Pay Secrecy page for detailed advice on the new workplace laws.

Prohibited Job Ads

From 7 January 2023, job advertisements (ads) can’t include pay rates that would breach:

  • the Fair Work Act, or
  • a Fair Work instrument (such as an award or enterprise agreement)

These requirements apply from 7 January 2023, regardless of when the ad was originally posted. This means that even if the ad was posted in 2022, the requirement applies to that ad from 7 January 2023.

For more information, download the Australian Government Fact Sheet on Job Ad compliance and enforcement – Prohibiting Job Advertisements would Breach Fair Work Act.

Also see further analysis on the Fair Work Amendment Act by Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers in our industrial relations section.