Fair Work inspectors to make educational visits to employers in Newcastle region
18 February 2011
The Fair Work Ombudsman will make educational visits to about 110 businesses in the Newcastle / Hunter Valley region over the next few weeks.
Fair Work inspectors will doorknock businesses to provide information packs to employers who have entered the national workplace relations system.
Inspectors will visit retail and commercial businesses in Maitland, Paterson, Mt Hutton, Wallsend, Teralba, Woodrising, Boolaroo and Argenton.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the informal visits are aimed at assisting employers to understand national workplace laws, including the National Employment Standards and Modern Awards.
Information packs being distributed include helpful resources such as fact sheets, templates and Best Practice Guides and provide advice about practical steps employers can take to adjust to the national system.
"We are very serious about our job of building knowledge and creating fairer workplaces and we are focused on ensuring the community understands its workplace rights and obligations," Mr Campbell said.
"The best advice I can give to business operators is to get the basics right and everything else should start to fall into place.
"By the basics, I mean knowing which Award applies to your employees, the correct classifications and pay rates."
The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website - www.fairwork.gov.au - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay.
Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation available online.
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 and horticulture industries.
A series of Best Practice Guides have also been developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist employers 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 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. For translations, call 13 14 50.
Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
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