Keeping abreast of all the legal and regulative requirements for HR can be a challenge. While most firm would like to maintain a high level of compliance, other pressing tasks can lead to businesses owners pushing these concerns aside. However, with the Fair Work Amendment Bill potentially seeing major reform, is now the time to revisit your company's HR policies?
How many amendments have been brought before the government?
There are currently six amendments bills before the Australian federal government. The most recent passed a second reading, covering the administration of annual leave. The house proposed to clarify how leave is gained, repair the process when an employees voluntarily leaves and re-balancing right of entry laws.
There are currently six Fair Work Amendment bills in progress.
Another key aim of these amendments is to encourage equal opportunities and prevent discrimination. Two bills have reached a second reading, focussing on removing the restrictions on disclosing pay and introducing laws to prohibit discriminatory behaviour in the workplace.
If any of these bills are approved, they will have a significant effect on workplace relations and the rights of both staff and employers, which is why it is so important for employers to keep track of these possible changes.
How will these reforms affect Australian businesses?
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry were vocal in their support of the annual leave bill, as CEO Kate Carnell stated it would benefit both workplaces and employees.
"If successful, this legislation would restore some balance and inject some much-needed flexibility into the workplace relations framework," she stated.
"The tabled amendments also reflect the Australian Chamber's support of the long-standing principle that annual leave loading should not be payable on termination unless provided for in awards and agreements."
The disclosure of salary information is an important consideration in the efforts to reduce the gender pay gap.
Recently, the relevance of this bill was compounded by recent data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). On average, Australian men now earn $27,254 more per year than women, representing a 24 per cent gap. While the divide is shrinking, WGEA Director Libby Lyons stated that the data shows the urgency in creating policies to reach a state of equality.
Seeking assistance from HR consultants ensures your practices and policies are aligned with any new regulatory requirements. The legal climate can be hard to understand at times, but getting help in this area is important to avoid compliance risks and ensure ethical workplace practices.