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Credit: Clem Onojeghuo

Updated rules for posting job ads: What employers need to know

The Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill has made it illegal for employers to advertise pay rates that go against the Fair Work Act or other fair work instruments, like award rates or enterprise bargaining agreements. 

If an employer is caught advertising pay rates that are lower than these benchmarks, they can be punished by the Federal Court. This provision in the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill aims to ensure that workers are paid fairly and prevent employers from offering pay rates lower than what is legally required or considered fair.

As of January 7, 2023, new rules have been put in place regarding the advertising of pay rates in job advertisements in Australia. Employers are now prohibited from including pay rates in their job ads that go against the Fair Work Act or other fair work instruments, such as an award rate or enterprise bargaining agreement. 

This means that employers cannot advertise pay rates lower than the minimum entitlements for employees. Additionally, employers who are advertising pieceworker positions and are required to provide a periodic pay rate (such as hourly or weekly) must either specify the rate or state in the ad that a periodic rate will apply. 

These rules apply to all job ads, regardless of when they were originally posted, and employers who break these rules may be fined unless they have a valid excuse for not following them. Authorities have the power to take legal action against employers for violating these provisions, and the Compliance and Enforcement Policy governs the enforcement of these rules.

Pay secrecy terms

Starting on June 7, 2023, pay secrecy provisions that contradict the new workplace rights will no longer be permitted in employment contracts or other written agreements created on or after December 7, 2022. Employers with pay secrecy terms in their contracts that violate this prohibition may be penalised. Any pay secrecy clauses in fair work instruments (such as awards or enterprise agreements) or employment contracts made on or after December 7, 2022, will be invalid and unenforceable. 

This also applies to employment contracts that were already in effect before December 7, 2022, if the contract does not include a pay secrecy clause or if it includes one and is modified after that date. In the latter case, the laws will take effect after the contract is altered. Pay secrecy provisions in enterprise agreements, awards, or other fair work instruments will be invalid and unenforceable after December 7, 2022, regardless of when the instrument was made.

Employers seeking more information can visit the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website, with a fact sheet for small businesses available here.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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