Getting little things wrong can cost your business

Managing the relationship between employers and employees is a delicate balancing act that requires skill and constant learning and adjustment.

It is easy to get caught up in making sure the “big” things are addressed, and miss out, or overlook some compliance requirements. But there are several simple processes that many businesses are overlooking or completing in an ad-hoc fashion that is resulting in breach notices and fines being issued by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Failure to actively comply with what can appear to be a simple or low priority compliance process can cost the business thousands of dollars.

Three things that come up again and again in the investigation notes are:

  • Fair Work Information Statements
  • Access to the Award
  • Casual Conversion

The Fair Work Information Statement must be provided to all new staff.  If asked businesses should be able to confirm that this has been done and produce evidencesuch as a signed copy, and email trail, a signed documents received list etc.

Failure to supply this information statement can result in fines to individuals of $6,600 per incident and fines to businesses of $33,000 per incident.

Most businesses clearly understand the Award mechanism that underpins their employment relationships.  Even if the employee is engaged on individual or other agreement the Award underpins the relationship.  What many businesses are failing to do, however, is provide information to employees on which Award underpins their employment or provide access to the most recent copy of the Award.  Providing this information is easiest to do on engagement or on anniversary performance reviews when the underpinning Award can be identified and the link to the Award on the Fair Work Australia website can be communicated.

Casual Conversion is a process that ensures that casuals who have been employed in a regular pattern be offered the opportunity to convert to permanent or part time after a certain amount of time.  Like the provision of the Fair Work Information Statements, businesses should be ready to provide evidence that this offer was made.

ACAPMA members are reminded that they can call 1300 160 270 for assistance with these and other workplace relations matters.

Click here for a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement.

Click here to go to the Fair Work Australia list of Awards.

Click here to request more information on the casual conversion process and requirements