AUSTRALIA: Annual Update – Expected labour law changes in 2016

Parental leave

Changes to rules on unpaid parental leave: Under existing rules a parent can ask for a further 12 months unpaid leave (in addition to the original 12 months entitlement). The new rule requires that the employer must give the applicant employee a reasonable opportunity to discuss their application before refusing it. The discussion should be either in person or on the phone rather than by email or letter.
Action required: Employers should review and amend parental leave policies and procedures.

Gender pay gap

Prospective changes to rules on disclosure of pay: A rule change is currently being considered by Government to help reduce the gender pay gap. Existing restrictions on employees disclosing information about their pay will be removed. Employers will be prevented from taking adverse action against employees who do disclose their earnings.
Action required: For information only.