Another change under the current Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation impacts fixed-term contracts. Fixed-term contracts may be offered for a specified period of time or until the completion of a set task. Oftentimes, the employee is engaged on a fixed term contract for a second and third time.
Employers across Australia choose to engage employees on fixed-term contracts for a variety of reasons including
- To provide cover parental leave or other long-term leave
- For a period the business is receiving funding
- To complete a specific project
From 6 December 2023, the changes to fixed-term contracts will be:
- The total term of a fixed term contract can be no more than 2 years. This includes any extensions to the contract.
- Employers must provide employees on fixed-term contracts a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement (this is not available as yet)
- Breaches of these requirements can include civil penalties
- Some exceptions will apply to the total term:
- those engaged to perform a distinct and identifiable task
- those engaged in receipt of an income over the high-income threshold
- in connection with a position funded in whole or part by government funding and under governance rules where those rules specify the length of time that an appointment can be in place
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