Jen's Workplace News

Hello and Happy New Year!

We are back with news on workplace trends, snippets of workplace news and sage advice in the “Dear Jen” column.

Kick off the New Year well by using our Employment Essentials Compliance Checklist freebie…and of course, I share my recommendations for your viewing pleasure.

I hope this newsletter brings you some wisdom and joy!

Cheers, Jen


Jens Lens

What trend am I seeing out there in the workplace world?

Clients are returning from the beach on a mission to ‘clean house’.

Those burned in the past by employee/contractor confusion now have shiny new contracts.

Others have decided to bite the bullet and make a hard call about a ‘bad hire’ they have kept on for too long.

What changes are you planning to make this year?

Jens Articles and Cases


Buzzphrase of the Week

“Workplace Flexibility” used to refer to lunchtime yoga classes on the company’s dime. Now it’s entrenched in the National Employment Standards (NES).

It includes changing where work is performed or the hours that are worked and it is here to stay.

Thankfully yoga remains voluntary.

See: Flexibility in the Workplace 

Simon Sinek Predicts Workplace Trends For 2023 

Who doesn’t love the man who taught us to embrace our “why” – Simon Sinek? He has a brief and refreshing take on what we can expect for 2023. (Spoiler alert: it involves flexibility).


Six Hour Work Day? 

According to an article in the AFR, a Queensland software development company boosted its staff’s productivity by almost 15% by moving to a 6 hour work day. All staff work between 9am and 1pm and can decide when they work the extra 2 hours each day.

Comment: Productivity is important, and this change obviously suits this business. Query whether these hours suit clients in other business types and industries. (Spoiler alert: it will never work for employment law).

See:  Six Hour Work Day 

Is Your Workplace Ready for 2023?

In case you missed it in our last edition, to help businesses assess their readiness for the new year, we have put together a checklist of employment compliance essentials. You’re welcome!


What’s New? 

Changes arising from the new IR laws are starting to have an impact. They include:

From 7 December 2022

  • Pay Secrecy Clauses – Secrecy clauses in employment contracts that prevent employees talking about their pay and conditions are prohibited. Employees have a positive right to disclose or not disclose their pay to others. Applies to contracts entered into or amended after 7 December 2022. Pay secrecy terms already in contracts continue to operate until the contract is varied.
  • Workplace Discrimination – Gender identity, intersex status and breastfeeding will be included in the list of protected attributes under the Fair Work Act. Employees who experience discrimination because of gender identity, intersex status or breastfeeding will now be able to pursue complaints through the FWC.

From 7 January 2023

  • Job Advertisements – There is a prohibition on job advertisements that would breach the Fair Work Act by advertising pay rates that undercut employees’ minimum entitlements.

From 1 February 2023

  • Full-time, part-time and casual employees of non-small business employers (ie employers with 15+ employees) will be able to access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. The leave is not pro-rated for part-time or casual employees.
  • Full-time, part-time and casual employees of small business employers (ie employers with 14 or less employees) will continue to be able to access 5 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period until 1 August 2023, when the entitlement to 10 days kicks in.

From 6 March 2023

  • Sexual Harassment – The Fair Work Act will include a prohibition on sexual harassment and employees will have the choice to pursue their dispute through the FWC, the Australian Human Rights Commission or applicable state and territory anti-discrimination processes.

Learn more about these changes and get links to Fact Sheets by going to New Industrial Relations Laws – The Secure Jobs And Better Pay Act.


Jen's Mailbox

Dear Jen

I am a retired soldier, Netflix star, and author*.

I have been told that my services are not required at an event my family is staging in May.

Obviously this is unfair. Do I have legal grounds of appeal?



[*Having a ghost writer counts]

Dear H

Sorry to hear that your services are not required by your family. Did you do something to upset them?

See if you can make things right. If not, don’t go legal. Some people are just not suited to working with family.




Jen's Difficult Conversations in the Workplace

Want to Start the New Year on The Right Note? 

If reading the Employment Essentials – Compliance Checklist 2023 made you query what you need to do to comply with the new laws, please call 0411 275 920.

Or, if you are looking to start the New Year by embracing difficult conversations, get yourself the most practical online course in town. Run, don’t walk to my website for my highly informative and entertaining online course – “Difficult Conversations In The Workplace: A Lawyer’s Guide to Not Needing a Lawyer”. Spend an hour with your favourite unlawyerly lawyer for just $149 plus GST.

If you love getting this newsletter in your LinkedIn feed or your inbox once a fortnight (with no spamming in between) please share it with fellow lovers of employment law and entertainment. They can sign up here or Thanks! 


Jen's After Work

What I Watched (on Netflix)

Rotten Tomatoes gives “Lenox Hill” 100% on the Tomatometer and I could not agree more. This doco set in a Manhattan hospital features an ER doc, a head of ob/gyn and 2 brain surgeons (who don’t have God complexes). Extraordinary.

What I Watched (on Apple TV+)

Nothing screams summer fun like an American true crime prison drama about a serial killer. I finally watched “Blackbird”. So. Good.

What I Watched (on Apple TV+)

I was slow to watch “Slow Horses”. I’m not much of a slow horse person. Neither is this show. In fact it has nothing to do with horses. It’s actually a spy thriller about a bunch of MI5 rejects. Two glorious seasons to inhale. Go!

What I Watched (on Apple TV+)

Speaking of shows that have nothing to do with their title. My favourite show last year was “The Bear”. It has nothing to do with bears. It’s actually about a young fine dining chef who moves back to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich shop (where there are no bears). If you haven’t seen it yet, catch up!

What I’m Listening To (on Podcast)

Tim Ferriss lost me for a while with his 2 hour interviews about psychedelics, but all is forgiven. For the new year he has interviewed Mr “Atomic Habits”, James Clear. If you are too busy focussing on your new diet and exercise regime to re-read Clear’s masterpiece, listen to this pod.

What I’m Listening To (on Podcast)

“SmartLess” is gold every week. Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett are effortlessly and genuinely hilarious – even when they interview people I didn’t realise I would be interested in.


Jen's Last Word

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