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Fair Work Ombudsman’s Workplace Basics Campaign

April 16, 2018

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recently consulted with the NRA regarding the first phase of the Workplace Basics Campaign, a national campaign focusing on small business employers and their compliance with fundamental workplace obligations.

As part of this first phase, Fair Work Inspectors will be contacting around a thousand employers in multiple industries across Australia, including the retail sector, and will be seeking a sample of employment records for audit.

The FWO has advised us that through this campaign it is seeking to address its concerns that many employers are continuing to struggle with basic workplace obligations.

These include:

  • Base hourly rates
  • Penalty rates
  • Overtime
  • Record-keeping requirements
  • Pay slip requirements

The FWO will be using these audits as an opportunity to engage with employers and ensure they fully understand, and are complying with, these fundamental legislative requirements, as the FWO will be returning to reassess the records of non-compliant businesses in a second and subsequent campaign phase.

What to expect

If the FWO selects you for an audit, you will be contacted by phone in the first instance. The Fair Work Inspector will ask you about your business and your employees, and will request a sample of records for audit.

You will need to provide samples of time and wages records for your staff and a corresponding payslip for the same recent pay period. If you have junior staff, apprentices, trainees, or workers on a visa, you will need to include records for these employees in the sample you provide.

During the audit, Fair Work Inspectors will discuss FWO tools and resources with you and, if they assess your business as non-compliant with the relevant award, agreement or Fair Work Act, they will take the time to explain these obligations in detail before requiring you to rectify any issues. 

They will also ensure you understand recent amendments to the Fair Work Act , and how these can impact on your business, including through increased penalties for breaches of record-keeping and pay slip obligations.

We regularly consult with the Fair Work Ombudsman on your behalf and have given input into their resources to help ensure that our members are getting the information and resources they need to make compliance with workplace laws easier.  Links to specific FWO tools and resources to assist you in understanding and complying with your obligations, are detailed below. 

The essentials

  • Register to use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s My Account and access information tailored specifically for your business to help you keep up to date workplace obligations.
  • You can calculate your employee’s entitlements using the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions tool here or alternatively, contact the NRA for assistance.
  • Use the FWO’s Guide to self-auditing your business to ensure you’ve got the basics covered.

Need more information?

For further information, contact the workplace relations advisory team on 1800 RETAIL (738 245) or alternatively, visit www.fairwork.gov.au for all the tools and resources you need to keep up with your obligations.


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