'Vulnerable Workers' amendments to the Fair Work Act and employer impact

From today, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 (Cth) (“Vulnerable Workers Act”) is now imposing harsher penalties on employers who underpay their workers. With the Fair Work Ombudsman (“FWO”) recently taking action against even our biggest companies (such as 7-Eleven and Pizza Hut), and harsher penalties now in place, now is the time to make sure that you don’t have to worry about hefty penalties for non-compliance, or an underpayment of wages claim from an employee.

What has the Vulnerable Workers Act changed the potential penalties for my business?

The Vulnerable Workers Act significantly boosts fines for workplace law breaches. The amendments have:

  • Doubled the penalties for failing to keep employee records and issue pay slips with the precise content required under the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth);
  • Tripled the previous penalty for having misleading records; and
  • Significantly increased penalties for underpaying employees.

This means that if you have underpaid your employees, you could potentially be forced to pay significant fines and penalties, as well as payback all the unpaid wages and allowances owed to your employees.

How can you ensure your business complies with the new requirements?

We regularly assist clients by conducting cost-effective pay and conditions compliance audits for a fixed-fee. If an area of non-compliance is discovered, it is not the ‘end of the world’, because we provide practical and cost-effective ways you can ‘fill the gaps’ and ensure future compliance. Call Workplace Wizards on 0458 6444 69 to discuss how we can help you avoid underpaying workers, without ‘breaking the bank’.

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Mark Ritchie

Mark Ritchie

Mark is passionate about helping Australian businesses efficiently resolve their industrial relations issues. Mark has demonstrated proficiency advising managers, executives and boards of small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as some of Australia’s best-known companies, on both litigious and non-litigious matters.

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