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Funding Slashed for Fair Work Ombudsman

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In the wake of the Federal Budget on 8 May 2012, the Fair Work Ombudsman (“FWO”) is set to take a hit and will look to shed around 70 jobs over the next financial year.

Contrary to earlier reports saying the FWO would be receiving a budget increase, a FWO spokesperson has confirmed that funding has been cut from $132.7m in 2011-12 to $125.9m in 2012-13, a loss of $6.7m.

It is understood that an amount of the FWO allocation under the 2012-13 budget already includes funding that FWO pays under their contracts to South Australia, NSW and Queensland for inspectors that are joint FWO-State inspectors. This allocation of funding is set to expire at the end of June 2013.

Other industrial relations government bodies, such as Fair Work Australia and the Australian Building Construction Commission, have escaped the Federal Budget unscathed, leaving many of FWO’s 823 staff amazed. The future does not look any brighter for FWO, with funding estimated to be cut further in 2013-14 to $107.2m and remaining in that general vicinity until 2015-16. In order to keep FWO presence at the front line, many of the jobs that will be cut will be at a managerial level. This allows FWO to continue to deliver services in enforcement and education.

Voluntary redundancy consultations have begun with staff at FWO, who are determined not to let the funding cut affect the services they offer.

Herbert Fischbacher, Principal – Workplace Relations

Send an email to Herb