Fair Work Priorities for 2019-2020

Written by: The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers


Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) Sandra Parker has announced the FWO priorities for 2019–2020

Key themes (ICB extract)

a stronger approach to enforcement
strong message of deterrence to would-be lawbreakers


  • Fast food, restaurants and cafes
  • Horticulture and the harvest trail
  • supply chain risks (ie where the subcontractor to the contract is underpaying)
  • Franchisors
  • Sham contracting (where they really should be an employee but the contract means less pay)

Areas of concern that are highlighted
for clients and bookkeepers

  • FWO can force the provision of payroll records if there is a problem
  • Payroll records must be kept and must be kept correctly.
    “falsifying or failing to keep records will not be tolerated”
  • FWO will chase and enforce and seek penalties on employers who do not do what they were told by FWO
  • Simply backpaying people for underpayment is not enough

In 2018–19 the FWO conducted over 2,500 audits. So far in 2019 they have issued 176 compliance notices. The anonymous report tool has received 10,000 tip-offs about the hospitality industry.

Other comments

Staff turnover rates are at a ten year high of around 18%.
Half of younger workers leave their employment each year.

Small and medium business employ around 70% of all workers.

There are lots of employers … , no doubt, who do the right thing if it’s clear what they need to do. Luckily, the tools are there on our website to help them.

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