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One third of NSW businesses unaware of Fair Work Act

One third of NSW small businesses are unaware of the Fair Work Act that was introduced last year, even as the final effects of modern awards apply from the 1st of July.

Fair Work Act SalaryThe NSW Business Chamber found through an independent survey of 400 NSW businesses with five to 50 employees found that of those aware of the Fair Work Act, 10 per cent say they are still not compliant, with one third unaware of their obligations.

“The Fair Work Act was introduced in July 2009 and employers are taking huge risks by not doing their due diligence, understanding their obligations and making the required changes. It is a challenging time for employers. They should seek advice on this complex issue and ensure they are compliant,” said Stephen Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer, NSW Business Chamber.

Those not yet compliant with the Act cited they hadn’t had the time or the opportunity to look at what is required. More than a third of those not compliant stated they were in the process of making the appropriate changes to their business.

The introduction of the Fair Work Act saw many hundreds of federal and state industrial awards consolidated into 122 modern awards. Modern awards came into effect from 1 January 2010, with most having transitional arrangements which allow the phasing of wages, penalties, and loadings from July 2010 until mid 2014.

Interestingly only half of the businesses in the survey that said they are compliant had taken steps to review the modern awards that apply to their business. The Fair Work Australia and Fair Work Ombudsman’s websites were stated as a source of information by 40 per cent of respondents.

The NSW Business Chamber recently launched a dedicated website www.irmadeeasy.com.au that provides useful resources such as an online assessment so businesses can check their level of compliance and understanding, and find out what they need to do to meet their obligations under the Fair Work system.

“It is encouraging that those businesses aware of the new Act are either compliant or making changes for what they need to do. But there is still a third of businesses leaving themselves open to investigation if found to be not acting on the new legislation. While the Fair Work Ombudsman is taking a fair approach for businesses making changes, no business can afford to risk non-compliance,” said Mr Cartwright.

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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