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What Will The FWO Be Prioritising In 2019/2020?

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By  Renee Karakinos, Lawyer, MST Lawyers

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has announced that its Compliance and Enforcement Priorities 2019-20, will include a focus on franchisors. 

Priority industries and issues are characterised by the FWO as being “matters of significant public interest or concern, that demonstrate a blatant disregard of laws or repeat offending, matters of significant sale or impact on workers or the community, or that present as opportunities to test the law or use new parts of the law”.

The FWO has identified the priority industries and issues for 2019-20 as:

  • Fast food, restaurants and cafes;
  • Horticulture/Harvest trail;
  • Supply chain risks;
  • Franchisors; and
  • Sham contracting.

The priorities give the community guidance on the agency’s key areas of focus and help ensure its compliance and enforcement activities, such as investigations or litigations.

Note that in 2018-19 the FWO conducted over 2,500 audits and so far in 2019 they have issued 176 compliance notices. The priorities of the FWO should serve as warnings to employers to ensure they are carefully and conscientiously complying with their employment obligations.

If you have any questions about the priorities of the FWO including franchisee obligations, please contact the MST Lawyers Employment Law team by email or call +61 3 8540 0200 to speak with a specialist employment lawyer.