Enforcing the legislation

We are responsible for promoting compliance with Australian workplace laws, and educating about rights and responsibilities at work.

We can also help to resolve workplace issues. We don’t investigate every request for assistance made to us. If we decide that a request for assistance involves very serious issues or is in the public interest, we may choose to investigate. If we find that a workplace law has been broken, there are a number of things we can do.

Most of the time, breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Fair Work Act) involve breaches of civil remedy provisions. This means that someone can be penalised or fined by a court if the court determines that they've broken a workplace law. We have a range of processes and enforcement options for these kinds of offences which include:

Some breaches of the Fair Work Act are criminal offences. This means someone can be fined or even imprisoned if they break these laws. Examples of criminal offences in the Fair Work Act include employer or employee organisations giving, receiving or soliciting bribes. For more information about these offences, visit the Registered Organisation Commission's Corrupting Benefits page external-icon.png.

We don't investigate issues that are potentially criminal in nature. However, if these issues are brought to our attention, we refer them to the Australian Federal Police. Read more about who we work with.

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