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Online services

The FWO website offers mobile-friendly tailored information and self-service tools. Translated material is provided in 27 different languages.

Visits to the website increased to over 15.3 million in 2015-16, 14% more visits than in 2014-15. Mobile device visits accounted for 40%, with customers increasingly choosing to access information on their phones and tablets. There were more than nine million website users.

On average, customers viewed 2.9 web pages per visit, indicating they’re able to navigate to the information they need quickly. The most popular topics included awards, pay rates and the National Employment Standards (NES).

Customers sought clarification on the substitute Boxing Day public holiday in late 2015. This resulted in a 226% increase in page views for public holiday content, compared to the same period in the previous year.

Table 1: Website visits and users, 2014-16

2015-16 2014-15
fairwork.gov.au visits 15 308 115 13 380 802
fairwork.gov.au users 9 017 902 7 902 577

The website’s content and structure is regularly revised and refined in response to user analysis and feedback. In 2015-16:

  • Interactive guided user pathways helped customers find and verify the information they needed to self-resolve their query. Our most popular pathway provides information and assistance with determining pay. Each month ‘Verify my pay’ enabled 9000 customers to receive online assurance about the accuracy of the figures generated in the Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT), reducing their need to call. After using the pathway, less than 10% of customers navigated to our phone number. Each month, our ‘Get help’ pathway also guided more than 25 000 customers to services or resources tailored to their enquiry.
  • Pay tool visits almost doubled when compared to 2014-15, with the PACT’s responsive design providing pay rates to more people via desktop and mobile devices when it suited them. Commonly accessed modern awards included retail, building and construction, and hospitality.
  • A ‘Workplace Basics’ quiz was launched to enable employers and employees to assess their knowledge about everyday workplace issues like pay, leave, record-keeping, termination and more. Quiz results are accompanied with tailored information designed to further a customer’s understanding of workplace laws. From September 2015, there were approximately 63 000 commencements and 49 000 completions of quiz modules.
  • With the introduction of our Anonymous Report tool, customers could alert the FWO to potential non-compliance issues. Community intelligence about issues, industries and regions helps us tailor and target our compliance efforts. From its release on 11 April 2016 to the end of the financial year, we received more than 1713 reports from the public.

An anonymous report alleging underpayment and unlawful deductions from seasonal workers picking vegetables sparked joint education visits to farms in Bowen by the FWO and Australian Border Force.

Fact sheets, guides and templates remain popular resources, with a 13% increase in downloads and views.

Table 2: Online resources and usage, 2014-16
Availability and use 2015-16 2014-15
Fact sheets available 41 40
Fact sheet views 2 753 574 2 360 739
Fact sheet downloads 345 637 302 786
Best practice guides available 13 13
Best practice guide views 512 143 424 394
Templates and checklists available 86 86
Template and checklist downloads 805 647 820 454
Pay tool visits 4 021 289 2 219 905
Pay tool calculations provided 5 024 736 1 704 349
Online learning centre courses available 5 5
Online learning centre courses commenced 18 220 20 543
My account registrations 82 507 39 744
My account enquiries answered 47 605 22 308

Our Online learning centre won ‘Best in Class’ for online design in the legal category at the 2015 Interactive Media Awards. Scoring 490 out of 500, judges said it was ‘one of the world’s most well executed sites’.

My account

My account is an authenticated online space that enables customers to save tailored information, such as pay rates, access previous searches and submit enquiries.

My account registrations more than doubled in 2015-16, with over 82 000 customers signing up for the online self-service gateway.

During the year, My account was used to provide tailored information to the building and construction industry based on compliance issues identified through a national campaign.

We answered over 47 000 My account enquiries, up from 22 306 in 2014-15. An additional 7400 enquiries received through an after-hours web form were also answered. This service ceased in November 2015, with customers directed to My account. 

Modern awards most commonly saved in My account included clerks, retail, manufacturing, and building and construction.

In one instance, My account enabled us to reduce a 20 minute phone call to six minutes – with an adviser saving tailored information about wages into the account of a registered small business owner. The customer was able to review the resources and ask further questions online at times that suited them.

Subscription services

Our employer newsletter, covering the latest employment issues and news, was emailed to almost 14 000 subscribers in 2015-16, up 15% on the previous year. Issues covered included workplace flexibility, record-keeping, job classification, shut-down periods over the Christmas break and processing leave requests.

Email updates were received by almost 46 000 subscribers, an increase of 24% from 2014-15. These emails alert people about important changes to workplace laws, including the wage increase from the annual wage review and new annual leave clauses in modern awards.

Monthly knowledge updates were also emailed to more than 480 workplace relations practitioners interested in understanding how we interpret and apply legislation.

Practitioner service

The FWO answered just under 1400 enquiries through Practitioner Assist, a dedicated telephone and email service for employer organisations, workplace relations practitioners and unions. The majority of the enquiries related to modern award coverage. An online booking system was introduced during the year, enabling customers to schedule a time to discuss their enquiry.