By Nick Tindley
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has always targeted businesses that get workplace compliance wrong. In recent times though, things have ramped up. More businesses are being prosecuted, more individuals within businesses are being prosecuted for their involvement in these breaches, and more enforcement tools are being used.
As a warning to businesses of all sizes, to get their houses in order, we’ve seen the FWO publicly celebrate these outcomes by naming and shaming those who do get it wrong. You only have to look at two of Australia’s largest employers, Coles and Woolworths, which are both engaged in litigation with the FWO that will be heard before the Federal Court in June 2022. The cases, and a class action being pursued by Adero Law based on substantially similar matters, are said to involve over $100 million in underpayments.
If companies of this size (that are backed by large HR teams and other resources) can get it wrong, then it’s easy to see how small-to-medium businesses can also get caught out. These types of compliance issues can hurt businesses, not just financially but also through reputational damage. We want to help businesses understand where things can go wrong, what the consequences are and how they can be avoided in the first place and have created this eBook: Staying on the right side of the Fair Work Ombudsman. A guide for businesses on mistakes made, the consequences and how to avoid them.
Inside this valuable resource, we analyse the FWO’s activities over the past three years and identify the trends in their actions. If you’re a business owner or operator looking to protect your brand and avoid workplace compliance matters, it’s a must-read.
If you have a question about workplace compliance or you’d like to discuss ways you can protect your business, please reach out to our workplace relations experts via our 24/7 Telephone Advisory Service. Not an HR Assured client? If you’d like more information about the benefits of becoming an HR Assured client contact us today for an informal chat.
Nick Tindley is the Head of Workplace Relations and Advisory at HR Assured and Law Partner at our parent company, FCB. Nick has over fifteen years’ experience in providing industrial relations and employment law advice, with expertise in the retail industry.