Our priorities

For 2021-22, our main priority remains supporting workplaces as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Priority sectors and issues

For 2021-22 our main priority remains supporting workplaces as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19. We will also prioritise the following sectors and issues:

  • Fast Food, Cafes and Restaurants
  • Horticulture
  • Sham contracting
  • Large corporate underpayments
  • Franchise arrangements
  • Contract cleaning.

In 2021-22, we confirm our enduring commitment to prioritise small business employers and employees and vulnerable workers, and we will continue to focus on matters that:

  • are of significant public interest
  • demonstrate a blatant disregard for the law
  • are of significant scale or impact on workers or the community, or
  • can provide guidance on the application of the law.

Focus matters

We continue to focus on matters that:

  • are of significant public interest
  • demonstrate a blatant disregard for the law
  • are of significant scale, impact on workers or the community, or
  • can provide guidance on the application of the law.

Compliance and enforcement priorities

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s purpose is to promote harmonious, productive, cooperative and compliant workplace relations in Australia. Our functions include:

  • providing advice and assistance
  • promoting and monitoring compliance with workplace laws
  • investigating breaches of the law
  • taking appropriate enforcement action.

We perform these functions in a variety of ways, including:

  • undertaking targeted proactive compliance and education work
  • responding to requests for assistance, emerging issues reported through the media (or other external sources) and self-reported non-compliance
  • implementing new funding measures (for example, the Employer Advisory Service) or adapting to legislative changes to our powers and available enforcement outcomes (for example, the Protecting Vulnerable Workers Act).

There is an element of discretion in how we allocate resources to undertake our proactive and responsive activities. Our annual Compliance and Enforcement Priorities provides a framework through which we prioritise this resource allocation.

Our Compliance and Enforcement Priorities focus on industries that are at significant risk of non-compliance and emerging issues that are of considerable public interest and concern. We also prioritise cohorts who, for a variety of reasons, are identified as requiring additional assistance or are vulnerable.

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