10 million visits to FWO’s website, record-keeping templates popular

26 November 2013

It's a good thing record-keeping templates were among the most popular downloads during the 10 million visits to www.fairwork.gov.au last financial year, according to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said businesses that fail to keep proper employment records are at much higher risk of also having more serious contraventions of workplace laws, including staff underpayments.

"Our Inspectors visit thousands of businesses every year and find that if businesses aren't keeping proper time-and-wages records and issuing employees with pay slips, the chances are they will have other serious non-compliance issues," Ms James said.

"Some employers view compliance with their record-keeping obligations as a minor issue - but employers that don't have a detailed written record of basic matters such as employees’ hours of work and how wages have been calculated are inviting problems."

Under workplace laws, employers must keep prescribed employment records for employees and former employees and issue employees sufficiently detailed pay slips within one day of pay day.

Ms James said it was encouraging that templates for time-and-wages sheets and pay slips were among the most frequently downloaded items last financial year from the wide range of resources available for employers at www.fairwork.gov.au.

"Employers should use the free templates available on the website to ensure their records are accurate and adequately detailed, and to get their business on the path to compliance," Ms James said.

Last financial year, the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website received 10 million visits and a range of more than 50 online templates - for matters including time-and-wages sheets, pay slips, employing and managing staff, managing probation periods and ending employment - were downloaded 438,000 times.

The 40 fact sheets available on the website, covering issues ranging from unpaid internships to Defence Reservists, were downloaded 1 million times.

There were also more than 400,000 visits to an 'Industries' section on the website, which provides extra, specialised information for employers in a range of industries, including retail, horticulture, road transport, accommodation and hospitality, cleaning, clerical, vehicle, electrical, fast food, building and construction, hair and beauty, joinery, metal manufacturing, social and community services, plumbing and security.

The Fair Work Ombudsman expanded the suite of free tools and resources available on its website last financial year to assist business operators to understand their obligations under workplace laws and comply as easily as possible.

The Fair Work Ombudsman launched the first of a series of online learning courses to help employers effectively facilitate difficult conversations and achieve productive results.

The first course, helping make difficult conversations at work easier, provides practical tips for handling difficult conversations and allows employers to practice their conversation skills by interacting with an automated ‘employee’ to address poor workplace behaviour and deliver bad news.

New courses will be added to the Fair Work Ombudsman's Online Leaning Centre next year, on topics including hiring staff and managing employee performance.

MyPortal, a self-service tool launched on the website last financial year, gives employers easy access to information relevant to their business and industry.

The portal allows users to ask workplace advisors questions, save the advice they are given, and bookmark pages of interest on the website.

A bi-monthly eNewsletter, which now has more than 6,000 subscribers, contains information to help employers stay on top of workplace obligations.

Best Practice Guides, which were downloaded 93,000 times last financial year, are available on a range of topics, including work and family and employing young workers.

Employers can use a leave calculator to help them determine how much annual or personal leave their employees have accumulated.

The PayCheck Plus tool enables employers to calculate the correct wages for their staff, including minimum hourly rates and penalty rates.

"The Fair Work Ombudsman is always looking for new and innovative ways to help business owners understand and meet their workplace obligations, and we will continue to expand and improve our tools and resources to help employers get it right," Ms James said.

"Our tools and resources have been designed to be as user-friendly as possible for employers - particularly small business operators who are often time-poor and don't have the benefit of specialist in-house human resources and pay roll staff."

Employers and employees seeking advice or assistance should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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