The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill has just been approved by the Senate Committee.
What does this mean for you?
The Bill effectively amends the Fair Work Act to crack down on serious contraventions of the Act.
The 5 essential elements of the Bill are:
- A tenfold increase of the penalties for serious contraventions of the Act, to $108,000 for individuals and $540,000 for body corporates;
- An increase to the penalties for failures in keeping employee records, such as pay slips;
- Extending the responsibilities for franchisees underpaying workers to holding companies and franchisors in certain circumstances;
- Prohibiting employers from unreasonably requiring employees to pay back part of their wages;
- Increasing the evidence-gathering powers of the Fair Work Ombudsman and prohibiting the obstruction of the Fair Work Ombudsman in the performance of his or her powers.
How can you guarantee compliance?
For employers to comply with the amended legislation you must ensure your workplace practices include:
- Keeping payment records to employees
- Ensuring payslips are given to employees
- Making sure employment contracts are in line with the law as it stands today.
Other major concerns include ensuring compliance with the payment of penalty rates and the payment of overtime, specifically when it comes to permanent part-time employees.
What does this look like?
Employers can ensure they are complying with the amended legislation by taking the following steps:
- Auditing current workplace practices
- Keeping up to date records
- Making new employment contracts or updating old ones where necessary
How can we help?
If you have any questions regarding the amended Fair Work Act and its implications for your business, or to organise a workplace audit, call John Morrissey on 0407 069 507.
John Morrissey has been a practising Sydney solicitor for 30 years, and for the past 20 a sole practitioner and the principal at JFMLAW.
His main focus employment law, advising small to medium-sized firms and their employees of their rights and obligations.
For many years he was a lecturer at UTS to students obtaining Masters in Human Resources Management with a focus on performance management and creating a culture of delivery in workplaces. John has acted for a significant number of employers, not only in developing a performance based culture in the workplace but also solving particular problems that arise relating to unfair dismissal, contract disputes, improper use of intellectual property or other property as well as enforcements of restraints of trade.
John is very happy to speak to any employer who has an issue on a free of charge basis by a phone call. Please feel free to ring John at anytime up to 6pm most days.
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