August 2013 Industry Update

Termination of employment under the microscope in NSW

Fair Work Building Industry Inspectors will this month commence an awareness campaign in NSW to ensure employers are aware of their obligations when terminating the employment of workers.

The campaign, which will conclude in early October 2013, will focus on raising awareness of five main issues involving the termination of employment:

The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) enshrines the National Employment Standards (NES) – a set of ten minimum workplace requirements - in law. Modern Awards, such as the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010, further supplement the requirements outlined in the NES.

All employers in Australia’s construction industry should be aware of the relevant Award or agreement that they engage their workforce under and know what they need to do in the event that they terminate a worker’s employment.

During the NSW campaign, Fair Work Industry Inspectors will audit large projects in and around Sydney to ensure employers are aware of what they need to do to comply with the termination provisions outlined in the NES. If we find underpayments of wages and entitlements have occurred, we will seek voluntary compliance from employers to recover any outstanding amounts.

As part of the process of ending employment, employers must ensure they keep adequate records. The FWBC website also features templates that can assist in this area including a Letter of termination of employment with notice template, Letter of termination of employment - serious misconduct / summary dismissal template and Letter of terminaton of employment redundancy template.

Employees of employers that have become insolvent can apply for assistance through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme. The April edition of the Industry Update featured an article about this safety net scheme which provides more detail.

FWBC can provide advice to employers and employees about what needs to happen when employment is terminated.

FWBC’s hotline, 1800 003 338, is contactable every weekday and our website www.fwbc.gov.au also houses lots of useful resources.

Further information

FWBC website - Termination

FWBC website - Templates

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