Be Recruitment

Changes to the Fair Work Act: What Do They Mean for the Community Sector?.

At the start of this financial year, several changes were made to the Fair Work Act, which is a key document defining the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees.

The changes are small, but they’re quite important for us in the community sector.

One key amendment helps families work more flexibly after the birth or arrival of their new child by adjusting parental leave rights, while other changes help to further uphold and protect workers’ rights.

You can click here to read over the new legislation, but below we’ll cover the key points that most concern both employees and employers in the community sector:

Changes to unpaid parental leave

As of 1 July 2023, workers and families in the community sector now have greater flexibility with unpaid parental leave.

Previously, working parents were allowed to take only 30 days of their 12-month unpaid parental leave entitlement, but that has now risen to 100 days.

On top of that, pregnant employees can now access flexible leave entitlement up to 6 weeks before the expected date of birth of their new child.

Importantly, this does not concern paid parental leave, but simply offers parents more options as they figure out their working arrangements after their new family member arrives.

Workers are still obliged to give notice of the total number of unpaid parental leave dates they intend to take, 10 weeks in advance.

In effect, this means new parents are entitled to roughly two days a week of unpaid leave for the year after the birth of their child, up from less than one day a week – as long as employers are given enough heads up.

Protecting our superannuation

While superannuation is already required under the Superannuation Guarantee Charge Act 1992, this has not been included in the National Employment Standards (NES), which is a list of 11 minimum employment entitlements that must be provided to all employees, including casual workers.

In practice, the new legislation is an extra protection for workers experiencing superannuation theft.

Unfortunately, too many people in our community have not been paid their entitled super amounts, and by placing the requirements in the NES, the new legislation:

  • Makes super obligations clearer to employers.
  • Provides a stronger legal backing for employees experiencing super theft.

Other changes

The new legislation also:

  • Provides extra flexibility for workers seeking to make salary deductions, no longer requiring new written authorisation each time the deduction amount changes.
  • Protects migrant workers by confirming that all migrants working in Australia are entitled to the benefits of the Fair Work Act (whereas previously it was arguable that breaches of the Migration Act 1958 would make them invalid.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like further clarification about how these new laws affect your workplace arrangements!

Be. Recruitment is a specialist recruitment partner for the health and social care sector. If you’re looking to take the next step in your social care career, get in touch for a confidential chat today:

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.