FWO advice is legal defence for small business

News

FWO advice is legal defence for small business

In a win for small business, the Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz has announced that small business operators will now be able to rely on advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman, without fear of prosecution should the information be incorrect.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

In a win for small business, the Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz has announced that small business operators will now be able to rely on advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman, without fear of prosecution should the information be incorrect.

The Coalition committed in its Policy to Improve the Fair Work Laws that those small business operators who receive advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman, and rely on that advice, will not be subject to prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman should the information be incorrect.

Quick and accurate advice

The Fair Work Ombudsman can provide quick and accurate advice to small business operators on pay, awards, entitlements, leave, terminations and general complaints.

‘If, in good faith, callers to the Small Business Helpline follow the Fair Work Ombudsman’s advice, they will not be the subject of future penalty proceedings by the Fair Work Ombudsman should it turn out that advice was incorrect.’

‘In combination with the recent announcement of priority service for small businesses who call the Ombudsman, small business operators will be able to spend less time getting advice and more time growing and supporting their enterprise.’
 
‘These two measures will deliver confidence to small business to grow, prosper and employ,’ Senator Abetz concluded.

Background

This measure was set out in the government’s pre-election Policy to Improve the Fair Work Laws. Specifically, the Coalition committed to ‘providing potential immunity from Fair Work Ombudsman pecuniary penalty prosecutions for a small business employer if it pays or applies the wrong employment conditions, provided the error was not deliberate and the employer had previously sought [FWO] advice and help on the same issue.’

Contact information

Employers can phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 between 8 am and 5.30 pm weekdays to obtain free advice and assistance from a team of expert advisers. A free interpreter service is available by phoning 13 14 50.

A range of tools and resources are available on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website
 
Post details