Help is at hand for Outback Queensland and NSW
16 May 2016
No matter where you are, we can help.
That’s the message the Fair Work Ombudsman is taking to Outback Queensland and NSW as it undertakes proactive compliance and education activities across South Queensland, the Darling Downs, Griffith, Murrumbidgee and Broken Hill.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says her Agency is committed to assisting communities in remote and isolated areas understand their workplace rights and obligations.
She says educational and compliance activities are being planned for Charleville, Longreach, Cunnamulla and Blackall in South Queensland as well as Goondiwindi, Roma and St George in the Darling Downs region. In the Murrumbidgee and Griffith region, the major locations of Griffith, Deniliquin and Hay will be central to activities and inspectors will also visit Wilcannia and Menindee in western NSW as part of the Regional and Remote Locations Campaign.
Ms James says Fair Work inspectors are undertaking a series of field visits to educate employers about their workplace obligations and how the Agency can assist them to understand and comply with their responsibilities.
“Across remote and regional Australia, employers, many of them small business owners, contribute to their communities by creating opportunities for workers,” she says.
“While the majority of those employers strive to do the right thing, we realise they don’t always have the time or resources to make sure they meet all their obligations. We want all employers across regional and remote Australia to know that, no matter where they are, we are here to help.
“It is important for our Agency to have a profile in rural and regional areas - this is spectacular country and home to a strong, caring community with a great work ethic. We believe the majority of employers in the regions want to do the right thing by their workers and community, and we want them to know that we can help them do that.”
Last financial year, the Fair Work Ombudsman received more than 25,000 requests for assistance and recovered more than $22.3 million for almost 12,000 workers across Australia.
Ms James says the Agency offers a range of free tools and resources for employers at www.fairwork.gov.au including template documentation to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay-slip templates, leave application forms and a self-audit check list.
The mobile-friendly Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT), which was last year accessed more than 2.2 million times, can assist business owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees and a series of Best Practice Guides is available on a range of topics, including ‘small business and the Fair Work Act.
Employers can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 between 8am and 5.30pm weekdays to obtain free advice and assistance from a team of expert advisers. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50. Small business callers to the Infoline can opt to receive priority service through the Small Business Helpline.
Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO , the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au .
Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.
Bryan Littlely, Assistant Director, Media
Mobile: 0447 692 007
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