The transformation of our business to Norton Rose Australia is not the only major change from 1 January 2010. The National Employment Standards (NES) also commenced from 1 January 2010.
Fair Work Information Statement
The Fair Work Information Statement is an easily overlooked requirement under the NES, however, the provision of Fair Work information Statements to all new employees is a legal requirement under the Fair Work Act.
The NES requires that employers provide a Fair Work Information Statement to all new employees covered by the Fair Work Act before or as soon as practicable after they start employment (from 1 January 2010).
An employee is not required to be given an information statement more than once in any 12 month period. For example if an employee leaves and returns to employment with the same employer within 12 months.
The statement is available from Fair Work Online (432 KB pdf).
Giving the Fair Work Information Statement to new Employees
It is important that employers establish a process for complying with the NES provisions dealing with the Fair Work Information Statement.
The procedure should include documenting how and when the Fair Work Information Statement is to be provided to each employee and how those records are to be maintained.
This information may be required if there is ever a claim that the employer has breached the NES Fair Work Information Statement requirements.
What does the Information Statement contain
The Fair Work Information Statement contains information about employee rights and:
- The NES
- Modern awards
- Agreement-making under the Act
- The right to freedom of association
- The role of FWA and the Fair Work Ombudsman
- Termination of employment
- Individual flexibility arrangements, and
- Right of entry.
The Fair Work Information Statement will give employees a heightened understanding of their employment rights so it is even more important that employers ensure that they comply with their legal obligations, particularly in relation to Modern Awards and the NES.
Employers should consider conducting a review of their compliance with Modern Award entitlements and the NES.