Recruitment firm joins Fair Work Ombudsman in quest for compliance

04 February, 2014

Hays Specialist Recruitment (Australia) is the latest major employer to join with the Fair Work Ombudsman in a partnership aimed at achieving best practice in its workplace.

Hays approached the Fair Work Ombudsman in late 2013 with a view to pro-actively engaging with the agency in line with its goal of being an employer of choice that is ethical and compliant with federal workplace laws.

Hays in Australia employs about 13,000 full-time, part-time and casual staff and together with offices in New Zealand and South-East Asia finds permanent jobs and temporary assignments for about 50,000 people a year.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James recently welcomed the company's pro-active approach, which came after Hays staff attended a presentation in NSW by Fair Work Ombudsman director Russell Jacob.

"We congratulate Hays for showing corporate responsibility to its network of employees and showing leadership in the specialist recruitment field," James said.

Fast food retailer McDonald's signed the first Proactive Compliance Deed with the Fair Work Ombudsman in mid-2011. Others to follow suit include Spotless, Red Rooster, Domino's, Asset Industries Australia and Breadtop.

James says it is heartening to see companies which recognise the importance of great relationships with staff.

"Proactive Compliance Deeds facilitate better communication between employers and employees, as well as strengthening the co-operation and working arrangements between employers and ourselves," she said.

"The Deeds are a valuable way for us to engage with employers who want to do the right thing and we commend Hays for taking the extra step of joining this program."

Under the terms of the Deed, Hays Specialist Recruitment commits to ensuring its compliance with workplace laws and promoting harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces.

Working collaboratively with the company, the Fair Work Ombudsman will refer any future complaints it receives from Hays employees back to the company for self-resolution.

Hays will appoint a special employee liaison officer to handle the complaints and provide regular updates to the Fair Work Ombudsman on the outcomes, including numbers of complaints, time taken to resolve and underpayment of entitlements identified.

The company will also ensure workplace relations training for key managers.

"This Deed is an example of how the Fair Work Ombudsman continues to look for ways to assist employers and employees to be able to self-resolve issues in the workplace," James said.

"The program is a terrific model for other companies, large and small, who want to be seen as a great place to work."

Hays acknowledges that there are opportunities for continuous improvement in relation to its workplace practices.

A copy of the Deed is available at the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

The Fair Work Ombudsman also runs a National Franchise Program (NFP) to encourage big franchisors to enhance their brand by publicly supporting fair workplaces.

James said those participating in the NFP receive free resources to educate their franchisees and advice on how to best promote compliance with workplace laws across their network.

James stated: "They are demonstrating their commitment to corporate responsibility and sending out a message that they value the rights of their large and diverse workforces."