They have now "taken aim" at a workplace advice firm, alleging it "misled customers into believing it was associated with the ombudsman’s office."
“The Fair Work Ombudsman has received complaints from members of the public who claim they have been misled into believing that private businesses are, or were, connected or affiliated with the Fair Work Ombudsman or other government agencies. The Fair Work Ombudsman is not affiliated with any commercial providers of advisory or workplace relations service nor do we provide endorsements of any such providers” the ombudsman’s office issued in a statement.
What can Employers learn from this?
1. Always refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman
The Fair Work Ombudsman is not affiliated with any third parties, and urges businesses and individuals who are contacted by anyone claiming to be affiliated with its office to report this via phone or the office’s website.
2. All HR is not created equal.
HR is not a 'cookie cutter' template for all organisations that can be purchased online and easily implemented. HR & ER advice needs to be developed inline with both the National Employment Standards, Australian Workplace Laws, AND your individual organisational culture and circumstance. A successful HR function can only support the strategic objectives of your organisation if it is customised with considerations relevant to individual organisations.
3. Use online resources with caution.
Any dowloadable templates, letters, and information that are available to be purchased and/or downloaded should always be reviewed by a qualified HR/IR professional. Risk for employers can be high, where details and procedures are not correct and followed in line with Australian Workplace Law and internal policies and procedures, leaving your organisation open to adverse action, brand damage, and large finanical and legal costs.
4. The importance of developing a Trusted HR partnership
As with all business relationships, evaluate, and evaluate again. Is the organisation you have intrusted your HR to asking you the right questions? Have they fully questioned and understood your business needs and operating environment? Do you have the peace of mind that you are receiving guidance inline with legislation and your culture? If you have answered 'no' to any of these questions, there is little possibility that your investment in these services is supporing your organisation both operationally AND strategically.
We recommend that our clients exercise caution when seeking advice from companies that may claim that they are providing advice on behalf of the Fair Work Ombudsman or generic resources available online. Whilst there are a number of online organisations in which they can download advice, templates and information from, www.fairwork.gov.au is the only web resource directly associated with the Ombudsman’s office.
By Rosalind Loxton, ER Service Director