The Federal Circuit Court of Australia recently imposed a penalty of $2,700 on an employer for failing to provide Fair Work Information Statements to three employees after they were employed.
It is important to note that the employees suffered no financial loss because of the employer’s failure to provide the Fair Work Information Statements.
Notwithstanding that, the Court found that the failure to provide a Fair Work Information Statement undermines an employee's ability to understand and be conscious of their rights and entitlements, and as such was of the view that a penalty ought to be imposed.
While the maximum penalty in this case could have been $54,000, the Court imposed a penalty of $2,700 - or 5% of the maximum.
The Fair Work Act states that each employee must be provided with a Fair Work Information Statement before, or as soon as practical after, they start employment.
This statement should include the information and conditions of employment as well as the National Employment Standards.
In arriving at its decision and determining an appropriate penalty in this case, the Court took into account the following factors:
This case clearly demonstrates that each employer has an obligation to provide new employees with the current Fair Work Information Statement before, or as soon as possible after, they have accepted an offer of employment.
The Fair Work Information Statement can be downloaded from Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman here.
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