North Qld employers focus of new campaign

1 April 2011

The Fair Work Ombudsman will doorknock businesses in North Queensland to assist employers to understand and comply with national workplace laws.

Over the next three months, Fair Work inspectors will visit almost 100 employers in Atherton, Ayr, Bowen, Cardwell, Charters Towers, Home Hill, Ingham, Innisfail, Kuranda, Mareeba, Port Douglas and Tully.

Employers will be selected at random and inspectors will be sensitive to the needs of businesses suffering as a result of recent extreme weather events.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the campaign was prompted by an increase in the number of inquiries from both employers and employees in the region seeking information and assistance.

"Businesses in the area have indicated they are unsure about how recent changes to workplace legislation affect them," he said.

"Inspectors will therefore be making a series of field trips from our offices in Cairns and Townsville to meet with employers face to face.

"We will provide educative materials to assist them better understand such things as record-keeping obligations and Fair Work Australia's transitional arrangements for Modern Awards.

"If an inspector notes a possible contravention, we will work with the employer to voluntarily rectify the issue and put processes in place to ensure any mistakes are not repeated."

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of resources on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au to assist both employees and employers.

The 'Industries' section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

A series of Best Practice Guides have also been developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist employers to make better use of the provisions of the Fair Work Act and better understand other aspects of workplace laws.

The guides cover work and family, consultation and co-operation, individual flexibility arrangements, employing young workers, gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance, effective dispute resolution, parental leave and improving workplace productivity in bargaining.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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