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Annual performance statement

I, Natalie James, as the FWO’s Accountable Authority, present the 2015-16 FWO annual performance statement, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). The statement is based on properly maintained records, accurately reflects the FWO’s performance, and complies with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Agency purpose

The FWO is the Australian Government agency responsible for ensuring compliance with workplace relations laws through advice, education and, where necessary, enforcement.


Indicator Target Achieved
Number of campaigns:
State (number of campaigns in each state/territory)
4 Four national campaigns commenced: National Compliance Monitoring; Textile, Clothing & Footwear; Remote & Regional; Healthcare & Social Assistance.
Sixteen regional campaigns were also commenced, with at least two occurring in each state and territory.
Investigations into complaints about breaches of federal agreements or awards completed within 90 days (percentage of total complaints) 80% We received 13 877 formal allegations of non-compliance through workplace dispute forms and finalised 14 329 dispute forms, some from the previous financial year. Of these, 95% were finalised within 90 days.
Calls to the Fair Work Infoline resolved at the first point of contact (percentage of total calls) 80% The 'first contact resolution' key performance indicator was 98% for the year.
Availability of Fair Work Infoline services (percentage of availability during advertised hours) 99% Fair Work Infoline services were available 99% of the time between 8 am - 5:30 pm local time Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
Availability of website (time available as a percentage of total time) 99% The FWO website,, was available 99% of the time.
Procurement policies consistent with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules
Consistent with all requirements The FWO's procurement policies remained consistent with the PGPA Act and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.
Financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Finance Minister's Orders Consistent with all requirements The FWO's 2015-16 financial statements are based on properly maintained records and comply with the PGPA Act.

Source: FWO Corporate Plan 2015-19 and FWO 2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements: Programme 1.1 (p. 160-61).

Analysis of performance against our purpose

In 2015-16, the main factors that contributed to the FWO achieving its purpose and exceeding key performance indicators included an evolving business model and community and government engagement.

We employed technology to reach and assist more customers with tailored solutions, when and where it suited them. Digitising services allowed us to meet increasing demand from the community with a decreasing budget. Reflecting this, advice provided over the phone decreased by 12% while enquiries answered via online channels increased by 72%.

We supported more than 74% of employers and employees to find their own solutions to workplace issues without the need for compliance or enforcement action. Over the last year, the number of people requesting our assistance through a dispute form decreased. The corresponding increase in our early interventions indicates this method, first introduced in 2014, is succeeding: we’re resolving more customers’ workplace issues before they become disputes and maintaining employment relationships.

We continued to evolve our inquiry methodology – an intelligence-led and targeted approach that takes a deep dive into systemic non-compliance occurring in parts of the labour market, and entities with influence in supply chains and networks to leverage that influence and drive a culture of compliance with workplace laws.

Increased community concern and media attention around visa holder exploitation brought our work into the spotlight. It also influenced businesses to consider their broader responsibilities, legally, morally and ethically for compliance within their sphere of influence.

The Government’s focus on worker exploitation saw our participation in a senate inquiry and ministerial working group on visa holder matters, and a commitment to increase our powers and penalties under the Fair Work Act.