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From 1 July 2017, employers risk increased penalties if they breach the Fair Work Act.

The Commonwealth Government passed the Crimes Amendment (Penalty Unit) Bill 2017. Taking effect from 1 July 2017, the Bill increases the value of a penalty unit and, by extension, the maximum civil penalties against corporate entities and individuals for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009.

The penalty unit and maximum civil penalties increased as follows:

Penalties Before 1 July 2017 After 1 July 2017
Maximum penalty for an individual $10.800 per breach $12,600 per breach
Maximum penalty for a corporation $54,000 per breach $63,000 per breach

The above maximum penalties apply to single breaches of civil penalty provisions under the Fair Work Act.

Multiple breaches can result in multiple civil penalties being imposed. Civil penalty provisions within the Fair Work Act include:

  • ● compliance with the National Employment Standards, modern awards and enterprise agreements

  • ● protection of workplace rights and other general protections

  • ● issues associated with right of entry, and

  • ● protected and unprotected industrial action.

On the spot fines can also be issued by Fair Work Inspectors. These have also increased as follows:

Fines Before 1 July 2017 After 1 July 2017
On the spot fine for an individual $540 per breach $630 per breach
On the spot fine for a corporation $2,700 per breach $3150 per breach

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