Large ECEC providers on FairWork radar in 2022/23 as Ombudsman priorities announced
The Sector > Provider > General News > Large ECEC providers on FairWork radar in 2022/23 as Ombudsman priorities announced

Large ECEC providers on FairWork radar in 2022/23 as Ombudsman priorities announced

by Freya Lucas

June 27, 2022

Large early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers could be in line for increased scrutiny around payroll compliance, while smaller providers could benefit from a large range of supports after the Fair Work Ombudsman announced the regulator’s strategic priorities for the year ahead. 


The 2022-23 Fair Work Ombudsman priorities will focus on sectors outside of ECEC, specifically universities, fast food, restaurants and cafes and agriculture, however the Ombudsman also indicated that investigating large corporate underpayments remained a priority for the regulator.


“We expect to take further high-level enforcement action against a range of large corporates this year,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said.


The regulator will continue to prioritise assistance to small businesses, recognising the crucial role they had played in the nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19.


In 2021-22, the Fair Work Ombudsman answered more than 50,000 calls to its Small Business Helpline and had over 270,000 views of its Small Business webpage and Small Business Showcase.


“Our targeted small business resources have been complemented by the Employer Advisory Service, which in 2021-22 has provided more than 1000 tailored written advices to eligible small businesses in relation to employee entitlements under the National Employment Standards and award provisions,” Ms Parker shared.


“Small businesses have faced many workplace challenges in the last two years and we will continue to provide them with the information they need to meet their Fair Work Act obligations.”


The universities sector will be a key focus for the Ombudsman after regular self-reports from universities of significant underpayments, including to casual workers.


“We are concerned about the allegations of long-running underpayments in many universities, with our current investigations finding trends of poor governance and management oversight, and a lack of centralised human resources functions and investment in payroll and time-recording systems. We expect to be taking high-level enforcement action against a number of universities this year, and urge all to prioritise their compliance,” Ms Parker said.


The Fair Work Ombudsman’s 2022-23 Compliance and Enforcement Priorities are available here. Information about Australian workplace laws and coronavirus is available here and information on the Employer Advisory Service is available here.


Employers and employees can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman Infoline for free assistance on 13 13 94.

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