IR watchdog warns employers on AWAs

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IR watchdog warns employers on AWAs

The Office of Workplace Services (OWS) is on the lookout for any cases of employees being pressured to sign AWAs before the Federal Government's new 'fairness test' came into operation yesterday.

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The Office of Workplace Services (OWS) is on the lookout for any cases of employees being pressured to sign AWAs before the Federal Government's new 'fairness test' came into operation yesterday.

OWS Director, Nicholas Wilson, has warned employers that pressuring employees to sign AWAs is against the law and will mean heavy penalties.

Alert for 'cases of duress'

'OWS will particularly be alert to any cases of duress before the 7 May 2007 start date of the new Fairness Test,' Wilson said. 'The fact that a new Fairness Test started on Monday is not a valid reason to pressure employees to sign up before then.

'Employers who break workplace law face penalties of up to $33,000 per breach, and employers who deliberately do the wrong thing by their workers should know OWS has the responsibility and the power to protect workers' rights.

'OWS takes the issue of duress in the signing of AWAs very seriously and investigates any claims of this behaviour as a top priority.'

He said any worker or employer concerned about their rights can contact OWS for information or to lodge a claim through the OWS Help Line on 1300 724 200 or the OWS website.

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