Community Engagement Grants Program recipients named

21 December 2020

The Fair Work Ombudsman has awarded a total of $7.2 million to five not-for-profit organisations to provide vulnerable groups with advice, information and assistance about workplace laws.

The Community Engagement Grants Program will see grants of between $1 million and $1.8 million provided to the organisations across four years to support people who have difficulties understanding and exercising their rights under the federal workplace relations system. Funding will be provided from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said funding has been allocated to organisations that deliver a broad range of services to assist vulnerable individuals across Australia.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman prioritises support for vulnerable workplace participants, including culturally and linguistically diverse workers, visa holders, young people, women and small business employers, and we’re pleased to provide support to these not-for-profit organisations.”

“The grants will support the work of the regulator through understanding of and compliance with Australia’s federal workplace laws, contributing to more cooperative, productive and fairer workplaces,” Ms Parker said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Community Engagement Grants Program 2021-2024 recipients are:

  • JobWatch Inc will receive $1.8 million to provide assistance on federal workplace laws to vulnerable workplace participants in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, including through a phone service, website resources and an interpreter service.
  • Circle Green Community Legal will receive $1.6 million to provide vulnerable workplace participants in Western Australia with legal advice, assistance and referrals relating to federal workplace laws.
  • Working Women’s Centre SA Inc will receive $1.4 million to provide legal advice and community legal education to workers, as well as training for small business employers, on federal workplace laws.
  • Youth Law Australia will receive $1.4 million to provide information, advice and education about federal workplace laws to young people in NSW, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
  • Cleaning Accountability Framework Inc (CAF) will receive $1 million for the development and delivery of the CAF certification framework in relation to contract cleaning and security for the higher education sector nationally. CAF certification promotes and assesses compliance with federal workplace laws by educating and engaging with all tiers of the supply chain. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman received 111 applications for funding through the open and competitive grants round, which accepted applications from 13 August 2020 to 24 September 2020.

The grant assessment process was overseen by an independent probity adviser and involved a rigorous assessment against the criteria set out in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines made available to all applicants.

All grant-funded activities are for the provision of advice, information or assistance to people within the federal workplace relations system about the operation of Commonwealth workplace laws.

Services delivered will be separate and additional to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s statutory functions.

The Federal Government established the Community Engagement Grants Program in the 2016-17 Budget and the program commenced on 1 January 2017. This is the second grant opportunity offered under the program.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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Matthew Raggatt, Assistant Media Director (A/g)
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