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Fair Work Ombudsman - tougher compliance approach

June 04, 2019

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recently announced their 2019-20 priorities, indicating a tougher approach to compliance and enforcement.

The 2019/20 FWO priority areas which will affect the residential construction industry, include:

  • Vulnerable workers, including migrant workers
  • Supply chain risks
  • Franchisors
  • Sham contracting.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Sandra Parker has said, "If you are in one of these industries, operate a franchise system or employ large numbers of migrant workers, you should probably expect to hear from us…"

Ms Parker has also indicated that compliance notices will play a bigger role when responding to underpayments, breaches of awards, and the National Employment Standards and that non-compliance could result in court action seeking penalties.

While the self-reporting of non-compliance with workplace laws to the FWO is encouraged, businesses should not expect to “move on without consequences”. As a result of their non-compliance, such businesses should also expect to enter into enforceable undertakings, pay the costs of the FWO in resolving the matter, and make a contrition payment due to their non-compliance.

‘Naming and shaming’ non-compliant businesses will also be a feature of the Ombudsman’s approach.

The message is clear. Now is the time to act if your businesses employment documentation and records are not up to scratch.

If you are contacted by the FWO or receive a compliance notice contact HIA for assistance.

HIA Workplace Advisers and HIA HR Docs can also assist you in getting on top of your compliance requirements.

Contact your HIA Workplace Adviser on 1300 650 620 to discuss.