Pay secrecy still a thing in 2023.

In December 2022 new Australian pay secrecy laws were passed within a broader set of reforms aimed at promoting gender equity. The bill proposed that through the elimination of pay secrecy clauses, employees will be able to determine whether the pay they’re receiving is reasonable and fair in comparison to the pay of the co-workers. Check out the Fair Work Ombudsman page here –

Employment contracts that take effect on or after 7 December, 2022 from 7 June, 2023 are not permitted to include pay secrecy terms. An employment contract that took effect since 7 December, 2022 that contains pay secrecy terms within won’t be enforceable. Employment contracts that pre-date 7 December, 2022 remain unaffected and continue to operate unless varied.

Changes are underway in New Zealand as well, with the Minister for Women, Hon Jan Tinetti, and Associate Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, jointly announcing plans in August to introduce a mandatory gender pay gap reporting system in a step towards pay transparency.

While these changes are long overdue, they don’t go far enough. True pay transparency means stating an indicative range when advertising and filling a role.

A LinkedIn survey earlier this year showed 91% of respondents said that including salary ranges in a job advertisement would affect their decision to apply. Only “responsibilities of the role” outperformed “salary range” as the most helpful in deciding whether to apply for a position. A 2020 survey by SEEK research found 79% of candidates agree there should be more transparency around salaries in listed job ads.

Along with lack of communication and updates, the absence of an indicative salary range remains high on the list of frustrations for candidates. From an employer perspective, particularly in the context of the not-for-profit sport sector, not listing salary range can be counter-productive to the search. A comprehensive job brief along with an indicative salary range, provide candidates with everything they need to consider applying.

“Attractive salary” is meaningless unless given a numerical or dollar context. And remember, not stating salary range can turn away good candidates while also allowing candidates who are well outside the top salary threshold to apply, wasting everyone’s time – both the employer and the candidates.

Pay secrecy legislation? Good step, but still not good enough.


Robert McMurtrie
Founder, Director – Search and Talent

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