The Jobs and Skills Summit took place over two days on 1 September 2022 and 2 September 2022. The purpose of the Summit was to bring together unions, employers, civil society and governments to tackle the current economic challenges.
The Summit yielded 36 immediate initiatives. Here are the top 10 which may have a direct impact on employers.
- There will be a number of measures to address the current skill shortages. The permanent skill migration cap will be lifted to 195,000 in the years 2022 – 2023. Recent graduates holding certain qualifications will be able to work in Australia for an additional two years. Working restrictions for student visa holders will also be eased until 30 June 2023.
- The Government has promised to ban pay secrecy clauses to allow workers to disclose their remuneration if they wish. There are yet to be any details on how this ban will be implemented legislatively.
- Women have been placed at the forefront. Businesses with 500 or more employees are required to commit to measurable targets to improve gender equality in their workplaces. Businesses with 100 or more employees are required to publicly report their gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Please note that the obligation to report the pay gap is already in effect.
- Two expert panels will be established in the Fair Work Commission to address pay equity and the community and care sector.
- Protections against adverse action, discrimination and harassment will be strengthened.
- There will be a number of measures to increase women’s participation in the tech sector. The Government will be working with unions and businesses to deliver Digital Apprenticeships that enable workers to earn while they learn in entry-level tech roles. It will also be delivering 1,000 traineeships in the Australian Public Service over four years.
- An agency called Jobs and Skills Australia will be established to provide advice to the Government on current, emerging and future workforce, skills and training needs.
- Unnecessary barriers to access of single and multi-employer agreements will be removed.
- The Better Off Overall Test will be made simpler and more flexible.
- The Fair Work Commission will be able to intervene in negotiations to help businesses and workers reach agreements that benefit them, particularly for new entrants and small to medium-sized businesses.