Small businesses role in the economic recovery and the FWO’s compliance crackdown
Media Release: July 9 2021
The recent media release from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) Sandra Parker, extrapolates the redefined priorities for Australia 2021-22. Parker stressed the reliance on the nation’s economic recovery as a correlation to the productivity of Australian businesses. The release’s dominant focus is to continue to provide comprehensive and accessible support for businesses experiencing the economic fallout from the effects of COVID-19.
Further prioritised matters are those of public interest blatantly dismissing laws set out for employee protections, or those causing adverse reverberations within the community. Additionally, a primary motivation is to provide guidance and communication to enable compliance of businesses in following the relevant award provisions.
Ms Parker noted the potential threat of exploitation to vulnerable parties and their intent to minimise this growing risk. In particular, contract cleaning businesses undergoing an influx in demand due to the COVID-safe cleaning practices, face a heightened prospect to be exploited due to the circumstances of the work. The migrant dominant labour is generally low paid and part time work and will be monitored closely in 2021-22.
The aggregate demand for Fair Work assistance stemmed collectively from the hospitality and horticulture sectors, presenting common non-compliance areas. This comes off the back of recent litigation actioned against Woolworths, following the alleged underpayment of over 19,000 employees. Further investigation is underway into the underpayment of workers for 80 large scale corporate companies. The crackdown on non-complying businesses is an attempt to urge other businesses to abide by the correct employee entitlement provisions as further legal action will be taken throughout the coming year.
The previous 12 months evidenced a staggering 60,000 calls to the Small Businesses Helpline and over 160,000 views of the Fair Work’s Small Business web page. Consequently, the purpose of the FWO in 2021-22, is to promote cooperative, compliant and prosperous workplace relations to Australian businesses. Eligible employers concerned about their compliance, can freely visit the Employer Advisory Service, for comprehensive advice regarding their obligations based on their business circumstances. This in turn, elevates confidence in businesses knowing their lawful expectations to avoid government enforcement for non-compliance. The state of the economy oscillates precariously on the basis of the government providing informed and proactive support to Australian businesses.
Here at Greenhalgh Pickard, you can be reassured that we know the ins and outs of employment and businesses law. Our experienced employment solicitors offer compliance checks for your business, to instill confidence in your adherence to the relevant legislation, awards and guidelines set out by the Australian government.
For any employment related queries, contact Greenhalgh Pickard’s expert employment solicitors today on (07) 5444 1022.
Employers and employees can contact the FWO Infoline for free assistance at 13 13 94.
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