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What is the Fair Work Act?

The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) is the key piece of Commonwealth legislation regulating employment and workplace relations in Australia. It provides for terms and conditions of employment and sets out the rights and responsibilities of employees, employers and employee organisations in relation to that employment.

Most provisions of the Act took effect on 1 July 2009, replacing the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth).

The FW Act establishes a safety net comprising

  • the National Employment Standards (NES);
  • modern awards and national minimum wage orders; and
  • a compliance and enforcement regime.

The Act also establishes an institutional framework for the administration of the system, comprising the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

The Fair Work Commission administers the Act, reviewing the legislation including updating entitlements, national minimum wages, and operates as a tribunal to hear claims and declare rulings

The Fair Work Ombudsman governs and investigates allegations of breaches in the workplace and initiates legal proceedings.

Working in conjunction with the Act, the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) provides additional definitions, explains the application of the Act and elaborates on certain terms and conditions of employment.

The FW Act runs 616 pages and, at the time of writing this post, the Fair Work Regulations is 171 pages. That’s a lot of information for the average business owner to read, let alone understand and keep up with. Our suggestion? Don’t.

You’re busy enough working to make your business succeed; why not let Bare Bones Consulting be your knowledge base for all things employment and HR? That’s a smarter, cheaper and easier option. Call us today or contact us to see how we can help you…we’ll give you the plain English version of what you need to know for Fair Work compliance!

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

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Give Bare Bones Consulting a call to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.