Small Business Corner

Fair Work Ombudsman builds web advice portal

Employer advice for small businesses made available after Fair Work Act changes


APRIL 2018

Small businesses can now refer to a new website set up by the Fair Work Ombudsman to answer some of the most pressing questions on their workplace obligations.


The Small Business Showcase aims to make all the information and resources a small business could need available in the one place – covering topics as diverse as hiring employees and calculating their pay, to resolving workplace issues.


Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James is urging small business owners to participate in the showcase to ensure they’re up-to-date with their obligations under workplace law.


"Our Small Business Showcase is a great opportunity for small businesses to brush up on their workplace relations knowledge, download practical resources and find out more about the assistance the agency can provide," James says.


"Our experience, backed up by research, is that small businesses can be overconfident when it comes to compliance – failing to check the rules to ensure they’ve got things right."


The Ombudsman’s push comes after changes were made to the Fair Work Act last year, doubling the maximum penalty for failing to keep employee records or issue pay slips to $63,000 for a company and $12,600 for an individual.


The changes also tripled the maximum penalty for knowingly making or keeping false or misleading employee records to $12,600 for an individual.


James says the ombudsman expects employers to have checked the rules that apply to them – adding that it needed them to promptly rectify any errors when problems arise.


"Small errors arising from issues such as not passing on the annual wage increase or incorrectly classifying workers can add up to big underpayments over time – which can make for expensive and unexpected back-payment bills down the track," James says.


"What we want to do now is make it even easier for small businesses to access the information they need to implement positive workplace practices and help their business succeed at any time of the day."


The showcase includes six instructional videos demonstrating how small business owners can use Fair Work Ombudsman resources to meet their obligations as an employer.


It also has a series of opinion polls and surveys running throughout the showcase that will provide small business owners with the opportunity to share insights and highlight the key workplace issues facing small businesses today.



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