ACTU, business chambers get $2.5m each in FWA education grants

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ACTU, business chambers get $2.5m each in FWA education grants

Employer organisations and the ACTU are the big winners in the first round of grants for an education program to explain the new Fair Work Australia IR system.

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Employer organisations and the ACTU are the big winners in the first round of grants for an education program to explain the new Fair Work Australia IR system.
 
The ACTU topped the list with a grant of $2,549,023, but the Australian Chamber Alliance was not far behind with $2,548,000.
 
Other major grants went to the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia($2,220,000), the Australian Industry Group ($1,911,000) and the Australian Mines and Metals Association ($435,000). See below for the full list of recipients.
 
IR Minister Julia Gillard said the grants were intended to ensure employees, employers and small businesses understand the new workplace relations system.
 
She said the grants were awarded following a competitive selection exercise conducted by an independent panel.
 
19 organisations get $12.9m
 
As a result, 19 community, employee, employer and small business organisations have been offered a total of $12.9m in Fair Work Education and Information Program grants.
 
Gillard said the bodies have been selected based on the ability to meet the requirements of the program as set out in the Fair Work Education and Information Program Guidelines for Applicants.
 
Grant recipients will provide information and education services to employees, employers and small business operators about the Fair Work Act and how it will affect them.
 
Gillard said a key focus of this phase of the program is to ensure employers, particularly small businesses, learn about the new system and comply with it, including new aspects such as the Fair Dismissal Code for Small Business.
 
Second round for employees
 
She said a further round of the program be implemented in coming months, with a specific focus on employees.
 
The second round of grants will cover the provision of information to employees about the new safety net (the 10 National Employment Standards and modern awards). This round will be implemented in the lead up to the commencement of the new safety net on 1January 2010.
 
Information and education services to be provided by the current grant recipients will include interactive online material in multiple languages; workshops; and a broad range of information materials.
 
Workshops on new legislation
 
Details of the scheduled and publicly accessible workshops will be made available online.
 
Gillard said that with any change of the scale associated with the Fair Work Act, there is a need for clear and reliable information so that small businesses, employers and employees are able to understand the changes to ensure minimal disruption.
 
She said that from 1 July 2009, and Fair Work Infoline 131 394 will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for education, information and advice on all aspects of the new workplace relations system.
 
In the meantime, more information on the changes to the workplace relations system, including on Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman, is available online.
 
Funding details
 
The following organisations have been offered grants in the first round of the education program: 
ORGANISATION FUNDING OFFER

ACT Chamber of Commerce $156 600
Aged and Community Services Australia $208 800
Australian Mines and Metals Association $435 000
Australian Chamber Alliance $2,548,000
Australian Council of Trade Unions $2,549,023
Australian Hotels Association $234,900
Australian Human Resources Institute $309,400
Australian Industry Group $1,911,000
Australian Retailers Association $400,200
Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation $217,500
Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia $2,220,000
Job Watch $364,800
Master Builders Association $282,100
Master Grocers Association $151,647
National Farmers’ Federation $348,000
National Retail Association $217,500
Recruitment and Consulting Services Association Ltd $136,500
Restaurant and Catering Australia $130,500
Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce $69,600

TOTAL $12,893,070
 
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