The FWO has launched the Small Business Showcase, an online platform aimed at providing resources on workplace obligations for small business owners, including awards and payslip obligations, as it undertakes a nationwide audit campaign.
Ombudsman Natalie James said the new platform was an opportunity for bookkeepers to help their clients keep up-to-date with their obligations under workplace law, in light of successive campaigns that have revealed poor or false record keeping issues.
“Our experience, backed up by research, is that small businesses can be overconfident when it comes to compliance – failing to check the rules to ensure they’ve got things right,” said Ms James.
“We take a proportionate and fair approach to enforcement action, but we also expect employers to have checked the rules that apply to them – if not with the Fair Work Ombudsman, with a qualified adviser.
“We also need them to promptly rectify any errors and back-pay workers what they are owed when they arise.”
Changes made by the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 have doubled the maximum penalty for failing to keep employee records or issue pay slips to $63,000 for a company and $12,600 for an individual, and tripled the maximum penalty for knowingly making or keeping false or misleading employee records to $12,600 for an individual.
The Small Business Showcase will cover topics including hiring employees, calculating pay, keeping accurate records and resolving workplace issues, with opinion polls and surveys to provide small business owners with the opportunity to share insights and highlight the key workplace issues facing small businesses today.
“We’re committed to equipping small business owners with the tools and information they need to confidently manage workplace relations issues and ensure they are doing the right thing,” Ms James said.
“We have a wealth of resources that are free and available online, including many that are available in multiple languages.
“We want to see small businesses thrive. Participation in our showcase will assist in building positive workplace cultures to the benefit of both small business owners and the workers they employ.”