Ombudsman offers helping hand to retailers

Small retailers can check whether they’re acting lawfully following the roll out of industry-specific information on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.


The information allows retail employers to access materials specifically designed for their businesses, with simple tips regarding staff rosters, recording leave, timesheets and hours of work.


The website also includes information on the General Retail Award 2010, the National Employment Standards, and tools designed to assist employers calculate pay rates. There is also information on conditions for apprentices and trainees, employing workers part-time, and dispute resolution.


In early 2011, the Fair Work Ombudsman will conduct audits of 1,500 retail employers, placing extra pressure on employers to comply with workplace laws.


All employers covered by the national workplace relations system must issue each new employee with a Fair Work Information Statement before, or as soon as possible after, the employee commences work.


The statement contains information about:

  • The National Employment Standards.
  • The effect on an employee’s NES entitlements where there is a transfer of business.
  • Modern awards.
  • Agreement making under the Fair Work Act.
  • Individual flexibility arrangements.
  • Termination of employment.
  • Right of entry.
  • The role of the Fair Work Ombudsman and Fair Work Australia.


According to a spokesperson for the Ombudsman, the statement can be issued to the employee in person or via post, email or fax.

“Whatever method is used to give the statement to any employee, it is recommended that the employer retain details of how the statement was given,” the spokesperson says.


“Any employer who does not give the statement to a new employee before, or as soon as possible after the employee starts employment, is contravening the terms of the NES. There are significant penalties for failing to give a statement to a new employee.”


To access the Fair Work Information Statement, visit


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