What you need to know about the new Fair Work Information Statement

Posted on 18/12/2019

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Overview:

Following a recent landmark Federal Court decision regarding personal leave entitlements for Australian workers, the Fair Work Ombudsman has released an updated Fair Work Information Statement that all employers need to be aware of.

In August, we wrote about the case of Mondelez (owner of Cadbury) versus the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. During the case, it was revealed that a Cadbury employee working three 12-hour shifts was entitled to 120 hours of personal leave annually, while a worker who put in the same 36 hours over five days would only accrue 72 hours personal leave.

The ruling set a legal precedent for the Fair Work Act (2009), which means that all employees now accrue personal leave in ‘days’ (or fractions of a ‘day’ for part-time employees), rather than ‘hours’, as was the previous interpretation.

This result has led to the Fair Work Ombudsman releasing an updated Fair Work Information Statement, which includes the changes to how leave is accrued as described above and in the findings of the Cadbury case.

A reminder for Employers…

As an employer, you are required by law to give every new employee a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement either before, or as soon as possible after they start their new job with you either in person, by mail, fax or email, or by sending them a link to the Statement on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

The Statement sets information to employees about their conditions of employment, including:

  • The National Employment Standards
  • Right to request flexible working arrangements
  • Modern awards
  • Making agreements under the Fair Work Act 2009
  • Individual flexibility arrangements
  • Freedom of association and workplace rights (general protections)
  • Termination of employment
  • Right of entry
  • The role of the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Fair Work Commission

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