WorkChoices ‘enforcer’ comes into operation

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WorkChoices ‘enforcer’ comes into operation

The WorkChoices enforcement agency Office of Workplace Services (OWS) formally came into operation on Monday of this week (27 March).

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The WorkChoices enforcement agency Office of Workplace Services (OWS) formally came into operation on Monday of this week (27 March).

OWS is an independent agency with an expanded scope to monitor workplaces and give advice to employees and employers under the WorkChoices changes.

Director appointed

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews said Nicholas Wilson has been appointed as the Director of the Office of Workplace Services, for five years.

Wilson was most recently head of the Australian Industrial Registry, which provides administrative support to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Before that he worked at a senior level in the South Australian Department for Administrative and Information Services and the South Australian Department for Industrial Affairs, involved in workplace relations issues.

Wilson was previously Manager of Employee Relations/Industrial Relations with what is now Business SA.

Operations

OWS will have a total budget of around $97 million over the next four years.

The OWS is currently undergoing significant expansion, with offices in each capital city now open and offices in a large number of regional locations to open by the end of the year. Across Australia, the number of workplace inspectors will increase to over 200.

Andrews said the OWS will have beefed up powers to enforce compliance with workplace agreements and awards, including former State instruments, the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard, and the requirements of the Act generally.

Employees and employers will be able to bring claims to the independent agency for assistance with enforcement and, if necessary, prosecution for breach.

In addition, OWS workplace inspectors will undertake an increased number of targeted education and compliance campaigns to further protect the rights of workers and to inform employers of their obligations.

Contact

People wishing to make a claim can get assistance through the WorkChoices Infoline on 1300 264363 or visit the OWS website at www.ows.gov.au

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