With the Fair Work Ombudsman making its presence felt in many industries in South Australia, it is a timely reminder to all businesses to ensure they are complying with their obligations across the various pieces of legislation that affect them, in particular, the Federal Fair Work Act 2009.
Due to the new workplace relations laws introducing greater risk of financial penalties for breaches of the Act, and the Fair Work Ombudsman strengthening its involvement regarding compliance issues, it is important that employers understand their responsibilities and provide their employees with the minimum entitlements.
The Fair Work Act 2009 brought about significant changes to the Federal workplace relations system when it was introduced on 1 July 2009, including:
- increased access to unfair dismissal for employees;
- greater powers for unions to enter workplaces and be involved in enterprise bargaining; and
- an emphasis on collective enterprise bargaining and requirements to bargain in good faith.
The new workplace relations legislation also included a new award system and the National Employment Standards outlining 10 minimum conditions of employment which were introduced on 1 January 2010.
With Modern Awards and the NES now in effect, businesses should be familiar with all of their new obligations, specifically the transitional provisions which, in most cases, will commence on 1 July 2010 to phase in various conditions in Modern Awards over a five year period (shorter or longer periods may apply in some awards).
Therefore, businesses are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with each of their Modern Awards to ensure they are complying with all relevant aspects and are aware of how any applicable transitional provisions may apply.
For businesses that were affected by the referral of South Australia’s industrial relations powers to the Federal Government, it is important that they are aware of their new obligations under the Federal Fair Work Act 2009 and are complying with the necessary provisions.
For more information about compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009, call the Business Advisory Centre on 08 8300 0101.
Alternatively, purchase the Fair Work Booklet which highlights the rights and responsibilities of businesses under the Fair Work Act 2009, visit: www.business-sa.com.