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An End to Systematic and Deliberate Exploitation of Workers

Know The Facts

If you are a franchisor and you engage contractors, this affects you. The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill has been passed and here’s what you can expect:

A new ‘serious contravention’ fine

You will now be fined a maximum of $12,600 for a standard breach and $126,000 for repeated systematic contravening behaviour. These penalties may be on top of any other misdemeanours.

Higher penalties for failing to keep wage records

Devised to deter employers from tampering with records to hide underpayments.

Franchisors and holding companies will be made accountable for their contractors’ contraventions

If you are are significantly involved in your franchisee’s financial, operational and corporate affairs, you will now be held responsible if you fail to prevent certain contraventions that you know or ought to have known about.

New compulsive powers for the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to gather evidence

Subject to AAT approval, if the FWO believes on reasonable grounds that you have any information or documents pertaining to an FWO investigation into a contravention of the Fair Work Act, they may issue an FWO notice requiring you to hand over the material or appear before the FWO for questioning.

Shifting the onus of proof to franchisors in certain Fair Work Act proceedings

This will apply in circumstances where a franchisor has failed, under section 535 of the Fair Work Act, to maintain or produce their contractors’ records for inspection.

Prohibition of unlawful cashback or deduction practices

Franchisors are no longer allowed to demand unreasonable paybacks from their contractors’ paid wages.

Take Action

With these new laws in place, franchisors should immediately seek to:

  • Review induction and compliance training for all franchisees and subsidiaries;
  • Audit payment, record keeping and workplace compliance processes;
  • Consult with workplace advisors such as Certica and proactively implement compliant systems where possible; and
  • Participate with the FWO inquiry and ensure you seek adequate legal advice.

Certica provides a complete range of contractor management and compliance solutions. We take care of the responsibilities associated with onboarding contractors, as well as continuing to ensure the engagement is always compliant, easy and efficient.

For a no obligation chat, call Stephanie on 0412 002 052 or email her:

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One response to “An End to Systematic and Deliberate Exploitation of Workers”

  1. […] and skills, you’ll also need to make sure they’re happy working for you. After all, workforce problems can be crippling to a […]

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