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Norman Waterhouse

Pay secrecy is now prohibited - what do employers need to know?

As of 7 December 2022, national system employees are no longer subject to pay secrecy and may disclose information to any persons about their level of remuneration.

New provisions have been introduced in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act) as a result of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 (Cth).

Those provisions now permit employees to disclose their own, or to ask any other employees (whether employed by the same or a different employer) about:

  • their remuneration; and/or
  • any terms and conditions of their employment that are reasonably necessary to determine remuneration outgoings (such as their hours of work).

Any past pay secrecy terms in existing employment contracts or industrial instruments that are inconsistent with the new FW Act provisions will no longer be effective (as of 7 December 2022).

From 7 June 2023, pay secrecy terms inconsistent with the new FW Act provisions cannot be included in employment contracts or other written agreements that were entered into on or after 7 December 2022. Employers found contravening this civil remedy provision may be exposed to harsh penalties, including up to $165,000 for serious contraventions.

Our experienced team can assist you in numerous ways in meeting your obligations, reviewing and tailoring contracts to include the necessary changes as required by law. Please contact Sathish Dasan on +61 8 8210 1253 or or Anastasia Gravas on + 61 8 8210 1331 or should you wish to discuss any aspect of the above.


2 February 2023



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