The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act) requires that a copy of the
FWIS be given to all new employees who commence employment after 1
January 2010. For casual employees, who may be engaged a number of
times during the course of any year, the employer is only required
to provide the FWIS once in any 12 month period.
Penalties of up to $6,600 for individuals and $33,000 for
corporations apply for failure to comply.
The FWIS can be given to employees in any of the following
by giving a hard copy of the FWIS personally to the
mailing a hard copy by pre-paid post to the employee's
residential address or a postal address nominated by the
emailing the FWIS to the employee's email address at work
or another email address nominated by the employee
emailing to the employee's work email address an electronic
link to the page of the Fair Work Ombudsman's website on which
the FWIS is located
emailing to the employee's email address an electronic link
that takes the employee directly to a copy of the FWIS on the
employer's intranet, or
faxing the FWIS to the employee's fax number at work or the
employee's fax number at home or another fax number nominated
by the employee.
Employers should keep a record of the date that the FWIS is
provided to an employee and the manner in which it is provided.
The FWIS is a fact sheet which outlines information about an
employee's rights and entitlements at work. Specifically, the
FWIS provides information about:
the National Employment Standards
agreement making under the Act
the right to freedom of association
termination of employment
individual flexibility arrangements
right of entry
the role of Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work
Modern awards will contain minimum terms and conditions of
employment that employers must meet in relation to employees to
whom an award applies. Modern awards are scheduled to take effect
on 1 January 2010 and will affect many employers who have not
previously had to deal with industrial awards before. One of the
challenges for employers will be reconciling their existing annual
salary systems with the requirement, contained in modern awards,
that employees be paid in terms of a basic rate for ordinary hours
plus separate enhanced payments or allowances for work performed in
particular situations (eg. overtime, shift work etc.).
The reference to "freedom of association" encompasses
the new and extensive "general protection" provisions
found in Chapter 3 of the Act. These provisions equip employees
with legal recourse, and powerful remedies including damages and
injunctions, if the employer has taken "adverse action"
in relation to the employees' "workplace rights" or
"industrial activities". Each of these concepts is given
a very broad definition in the Act. All employers must be mindful
that decisions which they make in relation to their workforce can
be scrutinised by reference to any potentially adverse impact on
the rights and industrial activities of current and prospective
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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