Upcoming Fair Work Act Changes: Protecting Worker Entitlements

12 December 2023

On 22 June 2023, the Australian Government passed the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Act 2023, introducing changes to the Fair Work Act (FWA).

A summary of the key upcoming changes can be found below.

Authorised Employee Deductions

From 30 December 2023, employees will be able to authorise salary deductions made by their employer that are recurring or for amounts that vary through a single written authorisation.

This is a major change as currently employees are required to gain new written authorisation every time a deduction amount is varied. Under this amendment to the FWA, only one written authorisation is required allowing employers to deduct amounts from their employee’s salary.

The main condition is that these salary deductions must principally be for the benefit of the employee, not the employer.

The employee maintains the right to revoke or withdraw this authorisation at any time, though it must be in writing.

Right to Superannuation in the National Employment Standards

From 1 January 2024, the right to superannuation contributions will be included in the National Employment Standards (NES). Although there is already a legal obligation for employers to pay eligible employees superannuation contributions under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992, this amendment to the NES will create an additional layer of protection for employees.

This change means that underpaid or unpaid superannuation contributions will be enforceable under the FWA by more employees, as well as employee organisations and the Fair Work Ombudsman. If an employer is paying superannuation contributions at the correct amount and has met their obligations under superannuation guarantee laws, then there is no contravention of the NES provision.

If you would like more information regarding these changes or any new changes to employment law, please contact Michael via the link below.