The Fair Work Information Statement can cost hospitality businesses up to $51,000. That makes the statement an expensive sheet of paper to forget to give new employees.
What is a Fair Work Information Statement?
The Fair Work Information Statement is a two page document briefly which explains:
- the ten minimum workplace entitlements in the National Employment Standards;
- the employee’s right to request flexible working arrangements;
- modern awards;
- enterprise bargaining and agreements;
- availability of individual flexibility;
- freedom of association, workplace rights and general protections;
- what happens when an employee is terminated;
- right of entry for permit holders;
- about the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Fair Work Commission; and
- how to contact the FWO and the FWC.
What’s special about the Fair Work Information Statement?
The National Employment Standards (“NES”) are 10 minimum standards of employment that apply to national system employees – which is the vast majority of hospitality employees. Getting a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement is the tenth standard in the NES.
The Fair Work Information Statement must be given to a new employee before the employee starts employment, or as soon as practicable after that.
The Fair Work Information Statement can cost more than a sheet of paper
Failing to give an employee a Fair Work Information Statement means you’ve contravened one of the NES.
A contravention of a NES attracts a civil penalty under the Fair Work Act.
That contravention attracts a penalty of up to $10,200 for individuals and $51,000 for corporations.
Like I said, it’s an expensive sheet of paper to forget.
Easy steps for compliance
Here’s a few ways you can satisfy your hospitality business’ obligation to give a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement:
- Add the Fair Work Information Statement to employment agreement templates.
It’s available in Word format from the FWO, so you can try copying and pasting into your template. Try adding a “Section break – Next page” before you paste it in.
- Change your hospitality business’ procedures for signing up new staff. Make a note that the Fair Work Information Statement must be given to the employee when they’re given their employment agreement.
- Hand it to the employee at the start of their first shift. Make a note on the employee’s file of the time and date it was handed to him or her.
One last thing: make sure it’s the current Fair Work Information Statement
The Fair Work Information Statement was changed in July 2013.
If you’re not sure whether the version you’re using is up to date, get it from the Fair Work Ombudsman.