Key dates in the employment landscape for business

1 July typically marks the introduction of changes of note for businesses. This year, in addition to increases to minimum wages and an increase to the superannuation guarantee, changes introduced by the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 (Cth) (Amending Act) which amended the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act) in December 2022, are also phasing into operation.

Below is a summary of the recent and upcoming effective operation dates resulting from the Amending Act, along with other key changes businesses should know. Our summary of the changes resulting from the Amending Act already in operation appear in Table 2 below.

Table 1

If viewing from a mobile device, we recommend changing the orientation to landscape.


What’s Changing?

1 July 2023

All Modern Award adult minimum wages increase by 5.75% from the 2022/23 rates.

National minimum wage is increased to $882.80 per week.

Federal high income threshold is increased to $167,500 per annum.

Superannuation guarantee is increased to 11% of ordinary time earnings.

Maximum superannuation contribution base is increased to $62,270.00 per quarter.

The entitlement for partnered couples to paid parental leave is raised from 18 weeks to 20 weeks and payments be divided between the couple depending upon who is primary carer.

Dad and partner pay has been absorbed by the increased paid parental leave entitlement.

The monetary cap of unpaid monetary entitlements that can be recovered in the Small Claims Division of the Federal Circuit and Family Court is increased from $20,000 to $100,000.

Fair Work Commission filing fees increase to $88.30 per application (refunded upon discontinuance).

The National Construction Industry Forum commences operation and replaces the Australian Building and Construction Commission (former building industry regulator and union opponent).

6 December 2023

The length of fixed term contracts must not exceed two consecutive contracts or a maximum combined duration of two years (if more than one). 

Fair Work Commission powers to deal with disputes regarding the term of a fixed term contract commence operation.

A business issuing a fixed term contract must give to the employee a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement.

7 December 2023

Automatic termination (“sunsetting”) of Zombie agreements, being enterprise agreements in operation prior to 7 December 2022 but made prior to the commencement of the Act on 1 July 2009.

Recent Amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in Operation

Table 2


What’s Changed?

7 June 2023

Pay secrecy clauses in existing contracts are null and void.

Introduction of penalties for businesses who include and/or enforce pay secrecy clauses in employment contracts.

6 June 2023

Access to multi-employer bargaining is extended.

Changes to enterprise agreement making take effect, including additional rules as to how the Better Off Overall Test applies.

Additional obligations on businesses in responding to requests to extend unpaid parental leave and requests for flexible working arrangements (FWA) take effect. You can read more about these changes here.

The categories of persons who can request a FWA is extended to include persons experiencing family or domestic violence, care-givers to persons experienced family or domestic violence and pregnant people.

6 March 2023

Sexual harassment in connection with work is prohibited.


6 February 2023

Australian Building and Construction Commission is abolished.

1 February 2023

10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave becomes a ‘national employment standard’ (but not applicable to small businesses).

7 January 2023

It is prohibited to include in a job advertisement a pay rate that would breach the Act or a fair work instrument, including a modern award or an enterprise agreement.

7 December 2022

The objectives of the Act are amended to include gender equality and job security.

Including pay secrecy clauses in new contracts, or amending an existing contract to include a pay secrecy clause, is unlawful.

The definition of protected attributes in the Act for the purpose of unlawful discrimination is amended to include breastfeeding, gender identity and intersex status.

Grace period of 12 months for Zombie agreements commences, after which they will automatically terminate (“sunset”).

The Fair Work Commission is granted additional power to correct errors in enterprise agreements.

Significant changes as to who may initiate enterprise bargaining and how businesses may be compelled to bargain.

The Fair Work Commission is required to terminate an enterprise agreement after its nominal expiry date if it is satisfied that certain circumstances exist which, on balance and after consultation with the business and its employees, support termination of the agreement.

This article was co-authored by Ashlee Nealon, Paralegal. 

Read other items in Australian Employment Brief - July 2023

Read other items in Commercial Brief - November 2023

Related content