More work for Fair Work
An audit of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) office has found it struggling to meet increased calls on its services.
In his report Delivery of Workplace Relations Services by the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman, Auditor-General Ian McPhee said demand for FWO’s services had been high since the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 with the Office reporting nearly 6.6 million visits to its website in 2011-12, over a million calls to the Fair Work Infoline and more than 26,000 workplace complaints.
“In the main, available feedback on FWO’s workplace relations services has been positive,” Mr McPhee said.
“Nonetheless, some key workplace relations services have not been consistently accessible or timely.”
He said for 2011-12, FWO reported that 24 per cent of calls to the Fair Work Infoline were abandoned, reflecting lengthy call wait times.
“Approximately 68 per cent of workplace complaints were finalised within 90 days compared to a target of 80 per cent,” he said.
Mr McPhee said FWO was seeking to optimise voluntary compliance with workplace legislation by providing information and education, while taking enforcement actions to address non compliance where this was necessary.
“FWO’s administration of education and compliance services in relation to the Act has generally been sound, with scope for the agency to improve its use of information and analysis to further inform service delivery strategies,” he said.
“FWO has delivered a good range of well developed services to support compliance with workplace laws.
“Appropriate training and guidance material underpin FWO’s program delivery, and the agency has established monitoring and reporting mechanisms.”
Mr McPhee said its overall program planning and monitoring approaches could be improved by integrating risk management and through systematic measurement of the effectiveness and efficiency of workplace relations services.
“The ANAO made two recommendations which aim to assist FWO to strengthen its overall approach to service delivery in support of the reformed workplace relations system,” Mr McPhee said.
The audit team comprised Anne Svarcas, Alison Palmer, Shona Virdi, Steven Favell and Stuart Turnbull.
The full report can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 344, 15 January 2013