In 2023, significant changes will be introduced to Australian fixed-term contracts as part of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs Better Pay) Act 2022. These changes, effective from 6 December 2023, impose new rules and limitations on the use of fixed-term employment contracts.

Here’s a summary of the key changes:

Duration Limitation:

The new rules restrict the duration of a fixed-term contract, including extensions and renewals, to a maximum of two years​​. This change is significant as it limits the length of time employers can engage employees under fixed-term arrangements.

Renewal Restrictions:

Additionally, these contracts cannot be extended or renewed more than once, preventing employers from perpetually extending fixed-term contracts, which can lead to job insecurity for employees​​.

Scope and Applicability:

These changes apply to all employees except casuals, including contracts where the employee is employed for a specific period, with the contract terminating at the end of that period​​​​.

Legislative Context:

These changes are part of broader efforts under the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act to amend the Fair Work Act, aiming to provide greater job security and better pay conditions for employees​​.

These changes mark a pivotal shift in the regulation of fixed-term employment in Australia, aiming to curb insecure work practices and enhance job security for workers on fixed-term contracts. Employers need to be mindful of these changes to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

For more detailed information, you can refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website. Additionally, if you’re an employer seeking advice on navigating these changes, PeopleStart HR offers expert guidance to help you adapt to the new regulations and maintain compliance. Their expertise in human resources and employment law can be invaluable in understanding and implementing these changes in your workplace.