While there is never a dull moment being an employer, 2023 is set to be a particularly busy year in the workplace with the upcoming Federal Government’s proposed IR reforms, the current climate of low unemployment and a potentially contracting economy.
To prepare employers for what lies ahead, here is a summary of the key HR trends in 2023.
Employee retention strategies
An unprecedented imbalance between labour demand and supply will continue to escalate the labour shortages we saw across most industries, skills, and locations last year. Employers who have recruitment as a top priority in 2023 are encouraged to start their workforce planning early, ensuring ample time to find the right candidate.
Some strategies employers may consider are:
- Investing in talent acquisition – With a tight labour market, recruiters will need more time and resources to scout top talent and, in many instances, will need to be far more proactive in recruitment efforts. A specialist skillset in this area can make the world of difference.
- Outsourcing and offshoring – These options can often provide more flexibility for employers to increase and decrease their headcount depending on business fluctuations in an unpredictable environment.
- Succession planning – consider if there are current employees who possess the skills and potential to fill vacancies or new roles.
- Flexible working arrangements – we have found that employers that are able to facilitate more flexible working arrangements have more success securing talent.
Managing economic change
Periods of economic uncertainty give rise to stress and anxiety in business owners and employees alike. There are some practical steps which businesses can take to help relieve employee’s fears and tackle economy-related concerns head on:
- Strong employee communication – Be clear and transparent to employees about what is happening in the business. A lack of communication can increase staff stress levels.
- Employee assistance programs (EAP) – EAPs are an effective tool to help support employees social and psychological well-being.
- How are your employees feeling? Checking in with your employees via Happiness Surveys or similar may help employers gauge the level of satisfaction in the workplace.
The importance of upskilling managers
Research has shown a direct correlation between manager control and competency and employee happiness and turnover. In fact, the number one reason why people resign is because of dissatisfaction with their manager. In today’s competitive market, anything you can do to reduce unwanted turnover is important. So, giving your managers the tools and access to expertise they need to facilitate team success and build healthy working relationships with their staff is crucial.
Summary of important legislative changes
Pay Secrecy Clauses and Discussing pay at work
Pay secrecy clauses in contracts can no longer be introduced. Employees now have a positive right to disclose (or not disclose) information about their renumeration to any other person as a workplace right. From June 2023, there will be a financial penalty for entering into a contract with a pay secrecy clause (up to $63,000). Employers are encouraged to review their contracts and policies for offending provisions and amend as necessary.
Currently, employees with at least 12-months service have rights to request flexible working arrangements if they satisfy certain criteria. From June 2023, employees will be able to request flexible work arrangements in a wider range of circumstances, including on the grounds of family and domestic violence.
Unpaid Parental Leave Extension
From June 2023, The Fair Work Act will be amended regarding employee requests for extension of unpaid parental leave beyond 12 months. Employers must try to come to a mutual agreement with the employee, only refuse the request on reasonable grounds and the employee has the right to challenge refusal with the Fair Work Commission.
Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave
10 days paid family and domestic violence leave has been introduced for all employees (including casuals) from February 2023 (for non-small businesses) or 1 August 2023 for small businesses. The leave is available in full each year and does not accrue or carry over.
From December 2023, employers (with some limited exceptions) cannot use one or more fixed term contracts for a period totalling more than two years or renew the contract more than once. Employers must also provide employees with a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement.
‘Zombie’ Enterprise Agreements
All enterprise agreements approved prior to 1 January 2010 will automatically terminate in 12 months from date of royal assent. There is an ability to apply to delay the termination for a further 4 years but only if the employees would be better off overall under the terms of the EA rather than the modern award that would apply.
Support your HR with expertise
If you’re ready to get your HR function in order for 2023, consider using an outsourced HR provider to give you the confidence you need.
At Employment Innovations, we provide proven outsourced HR solutions specifically designed to help Australian SMEs, Australia-wide.
Our team of dedicated HR professionals are experts in their field, and can act as an extension of your business. We deliver HR support locally, and our team is available on-demand, both virtually or on-site as required to assist with human resource management.
If you’re ready to make 2023 the year of HR success, get in touch with us today.
About Employment Innovations
Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.
The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.