Franchisor reasonable steps requirements 1

FWO issues Franchisor guidelines on ‘Reasonable Steps’

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) – the independent statutory body responsible for enforcing compliance with workplace laws and education – has recently published a resource for franchisors providing guidance on their responsibilities and practical steps that they can implement to comply with the ‘reasonable steps’ requirements.

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Vulnerable Worker Laws 6 (2)

Update on Enforcement of the New Vulnerable Worker Laws

Our General Manager, David Price, recently attended the Franchise Forum conducted by franchise and employment law experts HWL Ebsworth. The above are all as a result of the Vulnerable Worker laws, imposing liability on franchisors (and holding companies) for breaches by franchisees, subject to a defence by the franchisor that it took ‘reasonable steps’ to avoid the breaches occurring.

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Vulnerable Worker Laws 7 (2)

Taking a Systematic Response to the Vulnerable Worker Laws

As well as attending the FCA Franchisor convention over the last few days, ER Strategies Director Steve Champion also had the honour of hosting a roundtable discussion around how to respond to the new laws, including how payroll audits can be a part of the reasonable steps franchisors need to take to avoid possible liability for franchisee underpayments.

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What happened to the Vulnerable Worker laws

What happened to the Vulnerable Worker laws?

New Vulnerable Worker Laws Pass Senate
We reported recently that the proposed tough new Vulnerable Worker laws were to be debated on 8 August in Federal Parliament. You might be wondering what has transpired since that date?

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Vulnerable Worker Laws 7

Vulnerable Workers laws – “Oh no…they’re back!”

Vulnerable Worker laws back in Parliament this week. The proposed new legislation was to be debated in the Senate last night, Tuesday, 8 August (we are still trying to determine whether the debate proceeded as planned). Our view is that the mainstream of Franchisors are going to have to take reasonable steps to avoid liability for contravention of employment laws by franchisees.

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Vulnerable Worker Laws

Vulnerable Worker Laws Now One Step Closer

In the same week that the Federal Budget was released, so was the report of the Senate Inquiry into the proposed new Vulnerable Worker laws, aimed at stopping underpayments in the franchise sector. Things have progressed further, with the Bill having its second reading in the Lower House.

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general retail award

Tips for Complying with the Vulnerable Worker Laws

The Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, has been very ‘vocal’ in recent months, making speeches and issuing press releases about the FWO’s approach to prosecuting “accessories” to breaches of employment laws. Here are her top 3 tips for complying with Vulnerable Worker Laws.

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Vulnerable Worker Laws 2

Joint Employment for the Franchise sector?

Amongst a raft of changes proposed under the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 currently before Federal Parliament, the planned legislation will introduce laws making franchisors and holding companies responsible for underpayments by their franchisees or subsidiaries, where they should have known of the contraventions and where they have failed to take ‘reasonable steps to prevent underpayments.

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Wage Schedules 2019

The 2019 Annual Wage increase decision is here

This year’s annual wage review resulted in the increase of 3%. The national minimum wage will increase from $719.20 per week or $18.93 an hour to $740.80 per week or $19.49 an hour. Our consultants explain the reasons behind the decision, what that means for your business and when the increase will come into effect. Our updated wage schedules are now available for download to reflect the increase.
Dealing with Sickies

What to do about suspicious medical certificates?

The employee must provide evidence to the employer that they were genuinely entitled to sick leave. Generally, a medical certificate is a legal document that should satisfy the employer of an employee’s inability to work. This doesn’t mean that an employer can't question the validity of the medical certificate.
excess sick leave (2)

Take an interest in excess sick leave

Staff who regularly take sick days without repercussions are likely to continue doing so - this will have a negative impact on other workers who may soon start to follow suit, or feel aggrieved because they are at work doing the right thing. There are several theories on best practice when it comes to dealing with absenteeism, but the key is for employers to show an interest.
annual leave loading payments (2)

Does superannuation apply to annual leave loading payments?

A common question that we receive at ER Strategies is whether superannuation contributions need to apply to annual leave loading payments. Annual leave loading was originally introduced into awards in the 1970s on the basis that it compensated employees for the lost opportunity to work overtime when they were on annual leave and thereby earn extra income.
Wistleblower protection 2

Expanded ‘Whistleblower Protections’ are coming – will you be ready?

The expanded coverage of the legislation is - at least in part - a response to the release of the findings of the Hayne Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Finance sector. However, the new laws will impose significant new obligations on a much wider range of businesses than previously covered.
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