25 November 2011
Fair Work Ombudsman commences formal investigation
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced a formal investigation into whether the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF), Victorian Branch is in breach of the Fair Work Act.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s investigation will consider whether there has been a breach of section 421 of the Fair Work Act, which makes it an offence to contravene an Order of Fair Work Australia in relation to the stopping of industrial action.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s launch of a formal investigation follows the Agency having monitored this matter closely and conducted a range of inquiries over the past several days.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s formal investigation will involve gathering evidence from various sources.
As part of the investigation, the Fair Work Ombudsman will require the production of various documents by the ANF and will give officers of the ANF the opportunity to participate in interviews with Fair Work inspectors.
Evidence will also be gathered from employers of nurses and other relevant parties.
In the event the Fair Work Ombudsman considers there has been a breach of the Fair Work Act, the Agency will make a determination about whether the matter requires further compliance action.
The Fair Work Ombudsman decision-making will be assisted by the policies set out in its Investigative Process and Industrial Action Guidance Notes, which set out the considerations that are taken into account when deciding such matters.
The Guidance Notes indicate that there are several alternatives for concluding investigations, including through compliance letter, enforceable undertakings and litigation in the Courts.
The investigation is likely to take several months to complete and the Fair Work Ombudsman will not comment on the progress of its investigation until it has determined all relevant matters and what action will be taken.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Guidance Notes are available at www.fairwork.gov.au.
Workplace participants seeking information and advice can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.
Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902