Changes to Industrial Relations legislation

Changes have been made to Industrial Relations legislation in late 2022 through to early 2023. Please find more information and links to resources, below.

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1.Casual Employment

New Definition of casual employee and casual conversion.

The changes place emphasis on the time that the employment contract is entered into rather than subsequent conduct during the employment. Previously the court decisions emphasised the need for intermittence in the actual days and times the employees worked once they had entered into an employment contract. Click here for more information.  

Casual Conversion

Casual conversion means the right of a casual employee to request that their casual employment be made permanent employment. The rules are different for small and large businesses. There are a few differences, but basically large businesses (15 employees or more) have to offer casual conversion where small businesses are simply subject to requests by employees for casual conversion.

All new and existing casual employees must be given the Casual Employment Information Statement:

2.Family and Domestic Violence Leave

As of 1 February 2023, the National Employment Standards entitlement to family and domestic violence leave has been increased from 5 days unpaid leave to 10 days paid leave per 12-month period for domestic violence victims to deal with family and domestic violence. Click here for more information. 

3. Respect At Work

The Respect@Work legislation passed both houses of federal parliament in November 2022. There is now a positive duty on employers to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and victimization in the workplace. This means that employers are now required to take action rather than just responding to complaints. Click here for more information.  

All workplaces should have a formal Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Harassment Policy. Click here for further information and a template policy. 

4. Independent Contracting

The laws about independent contracting have changed somewhat due to two High Court cases last year.

The People In Dairy website will be updated shortly, however the key messages are:

• the Sharefarming Agreement would still pass this new test.

• the “swinging pendulum test” or the “multifactorial test” is still relevant.

• most engagements on farms will still be that of employer and employee

5.Worplace surveillance 

New templates are availble to address this emerging area. The key message is that employers do not have to consult with employees about installation, but they do need to give notice and provide signage. Also note that surveillance is restricted to public areas. Click here to access the Notification of Video Surveillance template and fact sheet.

For additional assistance please contact Melva Tyson

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