Workplace relations update: Changes to job advertisement rules
Recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (‘FW Act’) prohibit the publishing of incorrect pay rates in job advertisements.
What it means for business
Where you seek to publish a pay rate in a job advertisement, that pay rate cannot be less than the minimum pay rate for the job as provided for in the relevant industrial instrument, or as provided by the National Minimum Wage.
Industrial instrument for the purposes of this article means:
- A Modern Award
- An Enterprise Agreement (also known as a Collective or Certified Agreement for those agreements made prior to 1 July 2009).
It means employers must be aware of what the relevant rate of pay is for a position at the time of drafting the advertisement.
Is also means where a position is covered by an industrial instrument, it is important to ensure the position is correctly classified per the classification definitions within that industrial instrument.
The following applies to all new and existing job advertisements advertised on or after 7 January 2023:
- It is a breach of the FW Act to advertise a job with a pay rate that is less than the minimum pay rate under the relevant industrial instrument, and
- For piecework positions, the job advertisement must contain the piece-rate and the minimum wage guarantee rate. This only applies where an industrial instrument has a piece-rate minimum wage guarantee.
For example, the Horticulture Award 2020 contains a minimum wage guarantee for pieceworkers.
Inspectors from the Fair Work Ombudsman have the authority to issue compliance notices or take legal action when employers breach the FW Act.
Do I need to state the pay rate?
An employer is not required to advertise a pay rate in a job advertisement.
What about the position classification?
Where a classification under the relevant industrial instrument is stated in the job advertisement, employers must ensure the classification is the correct classification for that position.
For example, stating a position is level 4 under the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 when the position is actually a level 5 position, can also leave an employer exposed to advertising the incorrect rate of pay.
What steps can my business take?
- Ensure the advertised job requirements are reviewed against classification schedules in the relevant industrial instrument prior to advertising the position
- Ensure existing job advertisements that contain pay rates are updated to ensure compliance, where necessary.
More information and assistance
Business Chamber Queensland members requiring assistance with industrial instrument coverage and the relevant classification of a position are encouraged to contact Business Chamber Queensland's Workplace Relations team on 1300 135 822 or via email: [email protected].
Non Business Chamber Queensland members, or members who do not have HR services as part of their membership, can also contact the team for assistance at a competitive hourly consulting rate.