What is the role of Fair work Australia? - EmployeeConnect
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Fair Work Ombudsman, what is the role of fair work australia

What is the role of Fair work Australia?

You may be aware as an employee or employer that in Australia there are groups which will act towards the benefit and to protect employees. A particular group to be aware of is Fair work Australia. Fair work Australia is comprised of two operating bodies which are in fact separate from each other and operate independently. The Fair work Commission and the Fair work Ombudsman, both these groups are essential to regulate Australia’s workplace relations and keep employers in check. There are many benefits to both operating bodies, and we will explore the differences and the benefits of both the Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work Ombudsman

The Fair Work Ombudsman is essential in the contribution to achieving a fair and compliant workplace across Australia. Specifically, the Fair Work Ombudsman enforces compliance in line with the Fair Work Act 2009. The Fair Work Ombudsman also promotes harmonious, productive and compliant workplace relations in Australia while conducting themselves in an ethical manner.

Benefits and Responsibilities of The Fair Work Ombudsman

  • There are many benefits offered by The Fair Work Ombudsman. Educating individuals about fair work practices and making them aware of their rights and obligations is a key component in ensuring employers remain compliant and a benefit of The Fair Work Ombudsman. By educating individuals it also enables employees to become more efficient at identifying poor, unethical and illegal practises in the workplace.
  • It is also their duty to provide up to date and reliable information about Australia’s workplace relation systems. Individuals look to the Fair Work Ombudsman as a guide and require the information to be accurate and up to date.
  • Running campaigns and promoting the importance of workplace laws, awards and agreements in an attempt to reduce workplace issues as well as resolve issues in the workplace.
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman takes on the role of enforcing workplace laws and implements penalties for any breaches of these laws. It is important to have a governing body enforcing these laws as it ensures employers are remaining compliant.
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman also works in conjunction with The Fair Work Commission to enforce orders that are made by the organisation

Fair Work Commission

The Fair Work Commission is Australia’s independent workplace relations tribunal. The Fair Work Commission is an independent body with certain powers to carry out and deliver a range of functions relating to employment. The main focal point is working to the benefit of employees and the Australian workforce. Specifically, The Fair Work Commission is responsible for maintaining a safety net of minimum wages and employment conditions it also focuses on a range of other workplace functions and regulation which we will explore. The Fair Work Commission has a variety of roles and responsibilities which work towards the benefits of employees.

Benefits and Responsibilities of The Fair Work Commission

  • Assist employees as well as employers to enter into a fair and ethical negotiation to vary or terminate enterprise agreements. It is extremely important that when negotiating agreements that the employer does not engage in unethical or illegal practises. The Fair Work Commission’s aim is to eliminate any foul play.
  • A common and the main issue The Fair Work Commission deals with is the unfair dismissal or unlawful termination of an employee. Employee applications are assessed and dealt with assisting employees to form unfair dismissal cases if the employer has acted in an illegal or unethical manner.
  • If bullying cannot be resolved by HR or an employee feels uncomfortable approaching HR, The Fair Work Commission will also deal with applications to stop bullying in the workplace. This is an essential benefit as sometimes HR Departments may find it difficult to identify or prevent this behaviour.
  • The Fair Work Commission will also deal with applications to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. With such a serious matter it is important to have an independent body rather than the employer themselves investigating sexual harassment claims. This will ensure employees are protected and a thorough investigation takes place.
  • Industrial action can always be a topic of contention, it is the Fair Work Commission’s role to make orders about industrial action which includes strikes and work bans.
  • Issues are not always easily resolved and that is why the Fair Work Commission also has a responsibility to provide mediation and, in some cases, hold public tribunal hearings to provide a platform for employees and employers to resolves workplace disputes.
  • The Fair Work Commission acts as an independent nonbiased body to hear and decide on remuneration claims and will also determine and deal with applications about transfer of business, general protection as well as the right of employment disputes.

Employees and employers are both lucky that in Australia we have independent bodies which ensure ethical and legal practices in our workplace. If there is ever anything you are unsure of you can contact Fair Work Australia and they will be able to assist you in numerous ways.

Byron Conway
byron@employeeconnect.com

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect