In a recent media release statement, the Fair Work Ombudsman (“FWO”) advised that they had concerns with the role of the key advisors such as accountants and HR professionals in respect of serious and deliberate contraventions. The Fair Work Act 2009-Section 550 (“FWO Act”) generally describes that Involvement in Contravention to be treated in the same way as Actual Contravention. In accordance with the FWO Act, the FWO has broad powers to pursue and prosecute both Individuals and Companies if they become aware of wrong doings and the provider does not take immediate steps to rectify the wrongdoing or cease its involvement in the contravention. Each breach of the FWO Act results in penalties for both Individuals and Companies service providers. The key providers should ensure that they have sufficient covers for such prosecutions with their professional indemnity insurance.
In this respect, the key advisors should get legal advice prior to their appointment, as service providers and their contacts should consider obligations and limitations of the business to which it relates.