Employer Advisory Service – common questions

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Small business employers may be eligible for free tailored written advice about pay and entitlements from our Employer Advisory Service (EAS).

Read some common questions-and-answers about the EAS.

On this page:

In this section:

What is the Employer Advisory Service?

Our EAS is a free service that gives eligible small businesses tailored written advice about their employees’ pay and entitlements.

The EAS can give eligible small businesses written advice about:

Am I eligible for the EAS?

Small business employers are eligible to access the EAS if they meet all the following criteria:

  • they’re covered by the Fair Work system and have fewer than 15 employees at the time of the enquiry
  • their enquiry relates to pay and entitlements under the National Employment Standards or award provisions
  • they’re happy for an EAS adviser to contact them and discuss their enquiry in more depth.

You won't be eligible for a referral to the EAS if:

  • you have 15 or more employees, including workers in associated entities and regular and systematic casual employees
  • your business is an industrial relations consultancy
  • your enquiry does not relate to a pay or entitlements query arising under the National Employment Standards or modern awards
  • you need the information immediately, or
  • you don't want to be contacted by an EAS adviser to discuss your enquiry in more detail.

What can't the EAS help me with?

The EAS can't provide legal advice.

The EAS can't help you with enquiries about matters other than employee entitlements under the National Employment Standards, award provisions, including coverage, and other pay and employee entitlements. For example, the EAS can’t help you with questions about:

  • the general protections provisions under the Fair Work Act
  • our processes, such as understanding a compliance notice from the FWO.

You can contact us for information about these topics.

The EAS also can’t help businesses with the workplace impacts of COVID-19, including COVID-19 vaccinations. For help with coronavirus workplace issues, learn about our Workplace Legal Advice Program – overview.

How do I access the EAS?

If you’re an eligible small business employer, you may be referred to the EAS program by one of our customer service advisers.

You can only be referred to the EAS program – you can’t access it directly before making an enquiry with us. 

First you need to make an enquiry with us about a workplace issue. You can do this by either:

We will then assess the nature of your workplace issue and determine whether your enquiry is suitable for the EAS. 

Your enquiry won’t be referred to the EAS if you're happy with the advice provided by our customer service advisers and don’t want further assistance.

What happens when I use the EAS?

If you're referred to the EAS, one of our EAS advisers will call you during business hours. During the call, they'll discuss your enquiry with you in more detail. There may be additional contact via SMS or email.

The EAS adviser will discuss with you timeframes for providing advice when they call you.

The EAS adviser will send you written advice in a letter addressed to you on our letterhead.

The letter will provide a comprehensive response to your enquiry where possible, and may draw your attention to any issues that cannot be resolved. It may also refer you to other FWO resources and tools that can help you understand and apply your employer obligations.

If you’ve sought and followed our advice in good faith and that advice turns out to be incorrect, we won’t take action against your business for relying on that advice. However, you must still rectify any entitlements that may be owed to your employees. Any employees affected (including third parties) may take their own action.

Can I access the EAS more than once?

If you've already received EAS written advice and have a new enquiry that falls within the scope of the EAS, you may be referred to the EAS again.

Is the advice provided guaranteed?

If you've sought and followed our advice in good faith and that advice turns out to be incorrect, we won’t take action against your business for relying on that advice. However, you must still rectify any entitlements owed to your employees. Any employees affected (including third parties) may take their own action.