Fair Work Ombudsman Priorities 2022 – 23

Published July 2022

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recently announced their strategic priorities for the 2022-2023 financial year. These are a must read for employers to understand where the FWO will be focusing their efforts.


Key Priority: As many workplaces are slowly recovering from the harsh impacts of COVID-19, with the pandemic causing severe disruption to all areas of business, the Fair Work Ombudsman has announced they will continue to support workplaces through the pandemic and recovery phase, particularly the industries which have been hit the hardest.

However, their focus on compliance also remains strong.

 Priority Issues and Sectors

  • Fast Food, Cafes and Restaurants;
  • Agriculture;
  • Sham contracting;
  • Large corporate and University sectors and;
  • Contract cleaning.

Small Business employers, employees and vulnerable workers will continue to be prioritised by the FWO, by focusing on matters that:

  • Are of significant public interest;
  • Demonstrate a blatant disregard for the law;
  • Are of significant scale, impact on workers or the community, or;
  • Can provide guidance on the application of the law.

The FWO intends to approach these priorities by:

  • Providing advice and assistance;
  • Promoting and monitoring compliance with workplace laws;
  • Investigating breaches of the law and;
  • Taking appropriate enforcement action.

To find out more information about the FWO key priorities for 2022 – 2023, click here.


Employers should familiarise themselves with the new financial year responsibilities and take steps to ensure they are protecting themselves. We have provided some suggestions below:

1. Ensure your employment agreements are up to date or have them professionally drafted.

This is of particular importance if you employ casuals as there were significant changes to legislation in 2021. Also, if you pay your employees an annual salary or flat rate, you may have additional obligations in relation to how things must be documented.

To have an employment agreement professionally drafted or should you have an existing employment agreement which you would like reviewed and updated, please contact Edwards HR on 07 3568 0866 to discuss how we can help!

2. Investigate and understand which Modern Award/s apply to your team and ensure employees are being paid correctly. Don’t forget to look into the entitlements that are often missed such as allowances and overtime rates. Read through our Quick Guide to Paying Employees Properly here for guidance around this.

For those who pay a flat rate, loaded rate or all-up rate, our Quick Guide to Flat Rates here will also be useful.

3. Conduct regular pay and HR audits. More than 95% of businesses we speak with have at least two HR practices that are non-compliant with Australian employment legislation or a Modern Award. Consider a HR Health Check or tailored Compliance Audit by Edwards HR and let us help you understand your obligations and get back on track. Read more here or contact us today.

If your business employs more than 30 people, now is also the time to consider the ongoing HR support you require. To find out more about the outsourced HR solutions offered by our brilliant team, check out our website or contact us on 07 3568 0866

4.Review any contractor arrangements you have and ensure they are true contractor arrangements. You can read more about contractor vs employee arrangements on the ATO and Fair Work Ombudsman’s Also ensure your arrangements are documents appropriately.

For more guidance about this update, or to find out how Edwards HR can support your business, contract our team today on 07 3568 0866.

Feel free to share this update with others in your network.

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