The Fair Work Information Statement, or FWIS, is prepared and published each year by the regulator, the Fair Work Ombudsman, under Section 124 of the Fair Work Act 20019 (Cth).
The Fair Work Information Statement is a document that summaries the rights of employees from outlining the minimum wage to leave entitlements. It is a requirement that all new staff are provided with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement on commencement, but it is also best practice to provide a copy, or at least a link, to all staff each year.
The goal of the FWIS is to communicate, in simple plain English, the rights that employees have at work. This includes:
- Minimum rights and entitlements outlined in the National Employment Standards including:
- The right to a standard full time work week of 38 hours (for permanent staff).
- The right to request flexible working arrangements.
- The right to parental leave.
- The right to paid annual leave (for permanent staff).
- The right to paid personal and carers leave, also known as sick leave (for permanent staff).
- The right to community and jury leave.
- The right to long service leave.
- The right to take a day off on a public holiday without loss of pay (for permanent staff).
- The right to receive notice of termination.
- The right to receive notice of redundancy and redundancy pay (depending on the size and nature of the business and the length of service).
- Minimum pay rates.
- The application of Awards and Enterprise Agreements.
- The operation of Transfer of Business and the impact on employee continuing employment and entitlements.
- The protections against discrimination and adverse action.
- The operation of termination of employment requirements, including the entitlement to claim unfair dismissal and the time and structure limitations on this entitlement.
- The application of right of entry for unions.
- The role of the Fair Work Ombudsman and the contact details for employees to seek assistance and support.
- The role of the Fair Work Commission and the contact details for employees to seek Commission intervention.
When a business is engaging a new employee it is a requirement that a copy of the FWIS be provided to the new employee. Businesses will be asked to demonstrate to inspectors that this requirement has been met, so it is advisable to document the provision of the FWIS, such as through the explicit notation of same in an Engagement Document Pack or Induction Pack, or providing the employee with two copies of the FWIS and seeking to have one copy signed and retained on file.
As the FWIS is reissued each year and contains updated information each year, it is best practice to provide all current staff with either a copy, or a link to, the current version of the FWIS. An ideal place to do this is in the Confirmation of Employment letter, through direct email, or even through the posting of the current FWIS prominently in the workplace.
The latest version of the FWIS, in a variety of languages, and resources for businesses on the FWIS, can be located on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
ACAPMA members can access the advice and support of the ACAPMA Employment Department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an edited version of an article originally circulated by ACAPMA on July 5, 2019.