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Phone services

Our advisers answered more than 385 700 calls in 2016–17, with 71% coming from employees or their agents. The average call wait time was 8:20 minutes – with the average call lasting 10:18 minutes. The Small Business Helpline had an average call wait time of 4:38 minutes and the average length of each call was 8:52 minutes.

The Fair Work Infoline was awarded Best Government Contact Centre over 30 staff at the 2016 Government Contact Centre Excellence Awards and Best in Class Contact Centre (under 100 seats) at Contact Centre Week Australia 2017.

Consistent with our online enquiries, wages was the most common reason people called. This was followed by entitlements and termination.

The industries that accounted for the highest number of calls were:

  • construction (15%)
  • retail trade (10%)
  • health care and social assistance (9%)
  • accommodation and food services (9%).
Table 3: Calls answered, 2015 - 17
Phone service 2016-17 2015-16
Fair Work Infoline 285 068 (74%) 285 161 (72%)
Small Business Helpline 100 677 (26%) 109 302 (28%)
Total 385 745 (100%) 394 463 (100%)

A reduction in calls answered was offset by an increase in visits to the FWO’s online resources. There was a 25% increase in My account registrations and 5% more pay tool calculations during the year.

In September 2016 the FWO Library was made publicly accessible. The Library is a database of more than 430 workplace relations articles used by our advisers. During the year the Library was visited 30 883 times. The most popular articles accessed cover annual leave and sick leave during workers’ compensation, termination notices and withholding final pay, and penalty rate changes in the retail award.