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New laws to protect workers.

New laws to protect workers. (Last Updated On: September 15, 2017)

Franchisees are hurtling towards tougher changes in their workplaces as the Parliament gets back to work this week. A Bill has been passed which will have significant ramifications for franchisors right across Australia, as well as changes to impact every employer.

The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 has at its core new and harsher penalties for serious breaches of employment entitlements with record fines. The maximum penalties for record keeping failures will be doubled to $54,000, which would be crippling for small businesses that fail to keep accurate records.

Even more alarming for employers, is the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) being given stronger powers during the investigation process. This is an increase in the already substantial powers available to the FWO, enabling the agency to issue notices to anyone demanding information or documents relevant to their investigation, and actively pursue anyone hindering an investigation.

Employsure joined the media on this Bill and stressed that the intention to respond to high profile examples of franchise chains underpaying staff, such as Domino’s and 7 Eleven, now appears to be imposing fresh challenges for business owners. Australian employers operate within one of the most complex workplace relations systems in the world and Bills such as this make it harder for all small businesses.

With the Bill now in effect employers need to be aware of the changes to their workplace. Let us know what you think by emailing [email protected].

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