Published July 2023
IR ALERT – Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) Updated
As most employers would know, the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) must be provided to every new employee before (or as soon as possible after) they commence employment. There is also a Casual Employment Information Statement which must be provided to casuals with the FWIS, and an additional Fair Work Information Statement applicable to Fixed Term contracts will be coming soon (December 2023).
The latest updates to the FWIS are summarised below:
- Paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave applies to all businesses, including from 1st August 2023, small businesses with fewer than 15 employees. You can read our full employer update here.
- Changes to flexible working arrangements – you can view our employer update on this topic here.
- Changes to unpaid parental leave (note that the changes to paid parental leave offered through Services Australia do not form part of the National Employment Standards outlined in the FWIS) – you can read our full update about these changes here.
WHAT IS THE FWIS AND WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
The FWIS is a 3-page document issued by the Fair Work Ombudsman that employers must provide to every new employee before (or as soon as possible after) they commence employment. It outlines basic employment rights in Australia including the National Employment Standards.
Casuals should also be provided with a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement with the FWIS.
It is important for employers to ensure they are using the correct versions of the Information Statements and issuing them to all new employees.
The easiest and most practical way to do this is to provide a copy to each new employee with their commencement paperwork (which typically includes their employment contract, TFN declaration, super form, company policies etc).
As the Information Statements are often updated, it is important for employers to avoid printing and keeping hard copies to provide to future employees.
We instead recommend that the Info Statements be accessed and printed as needed, to ensure the most up to date version is being issued to new employees. They can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman website here.
It is also acceptable to provide a link to the applicable Information Statement/s via email if this is preferred.
Please note that there is an additional Information Statement for fixed term contracts currently being developed for use when the Fixed Term Contract changes (IR Reforms) take effect in December 2023. Edwards HR will provide a further update when more information is available.
Paid Family and Domestic Violence (FDVL)
The paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave Entitlements came into effect from 1 February 2023. For small businesses (with fewer than 15 employees), these entitlements come into effect on 1 August 2023.
Employees are entitled to the full 10 days upfront, meaning they don’t have to accumulate it over time. There are several other entitlements and obligations that employers should be aware of – You can read our full employer update on this topic here.
Unpaid Parental Leave & Extending Parental Leave
There have been multiple changes to unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act 2009 – please note that this is separate to the paid parental leave scheme offered by Services Australia (which is also changing).
You can view our comprehensive employer update on this topic here.
WHERE TO GET HELP
The introduction of Paid Family & Domestic Leave, Fixed Term contracts limits (2 successive contracts or 2 years) and Parental Leave changes are complicated and have already raised questions for many of our clients.
If we can provide any support in understanding the entitlements or how they will work in practice, please contact the team at Edwards HR.
For more guidance about this update, or to find out how Edwards HR can support your business, contact our team today on 07 3568 0866.
Feel free to share this update with others in your network.