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Changes to the Fair Work Information Statement

Find out if you need to be aware of any legislation changes that may affect your business and how they will impact employees and employers alike.
Published 8 Sep 2020
Updated 25 Oct 2022
3 min read
Changes to the Fair Work Information Statement

2020 update

On 13 August 2020, the High Court handed down a decision regarding accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave, overturning the previous Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd v AMWU & Ors [2020] HCA 29 decision.

This decision surrounds the method in which personal/carer’s leave can be accrued and taken under the National Employment Standards. The Fair Work Information Statement has been updated to reflect this.

If you’d like to learn more about the decision, you can find out information here.

What is the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS)?

The Fair Work Information Statement is a statement that provides employees with the necessary conditions of their employment set out by the Fair Work Act and National Employment Standards (NES).

According to the Fair Work Act, all employees must receive this statement at the commencement of their employment with a company.

The FWIS outlines:

  • National Employment Standards
  • Information on flexible working arrangements
  • Modern awards
  • Information on the Fair Work Act
  • Workplace rights
  • Termination of employment
  • Fair Work Ombudsman
  • Fair Work Commission

What does the change mean?

The High Court found that the entitlement under the National Employment Standards to receive 10 days personal/carer’s leave per year is to be calculated on the number of ordinary hours an employee works, not the number of days they work.

10 days of personal/carer’s leave equates to 1/26 of an employee’s ordinary hours of work per year.

You can view the full changes to the statement on the Fair Work website here.

How is this different from before?

This decision overturns the ruling of Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd v AMWU & Ors [2020] HCA 29 that was made in August 2019 by the Federal Court. The previous decision found that employees would receive 10 days of personal/carer’s leave per year, irrespective of whether they were employed part-time or full-time.

This meant that a part-time employee was entitled to the same amount of personal/carer’s leave (10 days per year) whether they were working 1 day or 5 days per week.

If you need more information or advice on your specific circumstances, please get in touch with Employment Innovations.

2019 update

What’s changed with the Fair Work Information Statement in 2019?

Whilst the FWIS is usually updated around June each year to reflect changes to minimum wages, this change is a little different.

Fair Work Australia has recently updated the Fair Work Information Statement following a Full Federal Court decision handed down on 21 August 2019 which confirmed the correct method for accruing and taking paid personal/carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards.

The information in the Fair Work Information Statement has been updated to reflect this decision.

An appeal of this decision will be heard by the High Court next year, but in the meantime, the decision made on 21 August 2019 is the current state of the law and applies to affected employers and employees. Find out more about this decision.

If you need any additional information regarding this decision, you should read the case summary by our partner employment law firm, EI Legal, here. The new Fair Work Information Statement also completely changes the look and feel of the document to make it easier for employees to understand their entitlements.

Old Information Statement Fact Sheet vs New Information Statement Fact Sheet

This image shows the Australian Fair Work Information Statement before and after the 2019 update
This image shows the Australian Fair Work Information Statement before and after the 2019 update

You can find the updated information statement in Employment Hero.

Want to keep up to date with other recent employment law changes? Here’s some further reading. 👇

The Team
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