Our website, www.fairwork.gov.au, is our largest customer-service channel, providing education and advice on Australia’s workplace relations system. The mobile-friendly site provides:
- comprehensive information about workplace rights and obligations
- industry-specific information on workplace laws
- self-service tools, including pay and leave calculators, online learning courses and interactive templates
- a translation tool that allows customers to view website information in 36 different languages
- professionally translated information and resources in over 30 languages.
In 2019–20, visits to fairwork.gov.au increased by 16% from the previous financial year to over 20.7 million visits. This is the most visits the website has ever had in a financial year to date. In the last 2 years, traffic to the website has increased by over 3.9 million visits.
Website visits and users, 2018 - 20
Note: Visits represent the total number of individual visits to the website. Users represent the number of individuals who have visited the website. These figures count visits from the same user as an additional visit, but not as an additional user.
Tailored information and resources
We have continued to enhance and expand our suite of online resources to provide more tailored information and assistance to our customers.
As a key part of our Horticulture Strategy, we developed a digital Horticulture showcase that provides industry-specific information, tailored resources and self-help tools for employers and employees in this industry. The showcase was co-designed in consultation with an external Horticulture Reference Group, comprised of key industry stakeholders. It covers topics most relevant to growers and workers, including:
- pay and piecework rates
- sourcing labour and how to use labour hire lawfully
- tips for working on the Harvest Trail
- deductions for accommodation, transport and job finding.
The showcase also includes a series of educational videos, an inbuilt automatic translation tool that enables users to translate content into 36 languages, and an interactive tool that growers can use to check their knowledge of workplace rights and obligations and get tailored help where they identify gaps.
Since its launch in September 2019, the pages in the showcase have collectively been viewed nearly 95,000 times.
New Fair Work Information Statement
We redesigned the Fair Work Information Statement (FWIS) to make it more accessible to Australia’s diverse workforce, and in response to customer and stakeholder feedback, including from the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce.
The new FWIS simplified technical workplace relations terms, added design elements and graphics to highlight key information, and reordered topics based on relevance. There are also links to free resources to help employees manage workplace issues and a referral to the FWO’s coronavirus website for additional information about rights and entitlements during the coronavirus outbreak.
User testing on the redesigned FWIS indicated that 84% of users preferred the new FWIS to the previous version. In 2019–20, the FWIS was downloaded over 240,000 times.
Fast food, restaurants and cafes
In 2019–20, our tailored website section continued to provide industry-specific information for fast food, restaurant and cafe businesses and workers. The section includes interactive tools and templates, and covers common issues that employers and employees in the sector seek assistance with, such as:
- award coverage
- payslips and record-keeping.
These pages were collectively viewed over 200,000 times in 2019–20.
Business advisers online course
In 2019–20, we created a new online course tailored towards business advisers, such as accountants, bookkeepers, payroll providers and consultants. The new course provides information about workplace laws, including:
- identifying and discussing problems with clients
- providing clients with the right advice on common workplace issues
- managing their risk and liability.
The course has been accessed nearly 5000 times since it launched in November 2019.
We developed new webpages for outworkers (people who work at home or at a place that isn’t a typical business premises) in the textile, clothing and footwear industry, and their employers. The pages provide industry-specific information about outworker entitlements, including:
- minimum conditions
- what information employers need to provide to outworkers
- written agreements
- information on supply chain management.
We provide professionally translated in-language information in 30 languages, which includes downloadable resources and videos.
In 2019–20, we expanded and enhanced our professionally translated in-language content by:
- translating our redesigned Fair Work Information Statement into 30 languages
- translating existing storyboard videos into 8 new Pacific Islander languages for our Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme workers
- translating metadata to improve the performance of our translated content in in-language searches.
Our Anonymous Report tool is also available in 16 languages (in addition to English). Further information about anonymous reports is detailed in Investigations and activities.
As at 30 June 2020, our in-language resources were viewed over 222,000 times, a 77% increase from the previous financial year. Our in-language videos were also viewed over 56,000 times.
To ensure users have access to the information they need, our website also has an auto-translation tool, which translates most pages on our website into 36 languages for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. In the 2019–20 financial year, over 263,000 website pages were translated using the auto-translation tool. The most translated pages related to pay and minimum wages.
Website translation tool most popular languages, 2019–20
Number of pages translated
Email subscription services
Subscribers to our email update service increased by over 100,000 during the year, to over 596,000 active subscribers. Subscribers can opt-in to receive email updates on various topics, including:
- pay rates and entitlements
- new products and resources
- industry and award specific updates.
During the year, we launched 64 email campaigns, sending out over 2.7 million emails to subscribers, with an open rate of 42% (the average open rate for government emails sits at around 30.5%).
Online education and compliance tools
Our online tools have been developed to educate employers and employees about their workplace obligations and entitlements, and empower them to resolve issues. The majority of our online tools saw consistent or increased usage this year in comparison to the previous financial year.
In 2019–20, we expanded our suite of interactive templates (online forms that employers and employees can fill out to generate a tailored template letter) with a new piecework agreement template. Our interactive templates are designed to reduce the time needed to prepare correspondence for those navigating employment-related decisions, and were collectively downloaded over 25,000 times. Additionally, our non-interactive templates were downloaded over 500,000 times.
Our pay calculator, part of the online Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT), continued to be popular with users, being viewed over 4.5 million times and processing 5,780,388 calculations.
Our Find My Award tool, which helps customers identify which award applies to them or their workplace, was also used over 1 million times.
Our fact sheets and best practice guides, which provide detailed information on workplace relations topics and best practice advice for small business employers, were collectively viewed over 4.2 million times.
Our Online Learning Centre, which provides free interactive online courses that teach skills and strategies to assist employers and employees work better, saw a 24% increase in courses undertaken, with users commencing 47,709 online learning courses. The most popular courses included:
- difficult conversations in the workplace – employee and manager course
- managing performance
- diversity and discrimination
- starting a new job.
Our Record My Hours smartphone app, which uses geofencing technology to assist employees record their hours of work, was also downloaded 19,834 times.
During 2019–20, the FWO partnered across government and industry to deliver education-based behavioural economics projects.
FWO partnered with the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA) and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment on a project to improve hospitality apprentices’ and their employers’ understanding and awareness of workplace rights and obligations.
The project involves the FWO sending apprentices and their employers a series of SMS and email messages over the first year of their apprenticeship. During 2019—20, we sent approximately 6000 text messages to hospitality apprentices and their employers.
We are also partnering with Monash University’s BehaviourWorks Australia to deliver a behavioural economics project to encourage international students to engage in good workplace practices including keeping records of time worked, collecting payslips and contacting the FWO via online channels if they need assistance resolving a workplace issue.
This pilot project involves a workplace rights quiz for international students who are starting a new job in Australia or who have recently worked in Australia. After completing the quiz, students are prompted to sign up for education resources. Then, over a series of four weekly emails, students are encouraged to adopt good workplace practices using behavioural approaches. The pilot will be evaluated during 2020–21.
In 2019–20, we answered 67,217 online enquiries via My account, web chat, email, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, an increase of 7% from the previous year.
My account, our online customer portal, allows customers to:
- send general enquiries about workplace issues
- save website pages and wage calculations
- receive communications and information tailored to their industry
- undertake online learning courses.
We answered 49,970 My account enquiries, most of which came from employees and their representatives (78%). The majority of enquiries came from the following industries:
- health care and social assistance (12%)
- accommodation and food services (11%)
- professional, scientific and technical services (10%)
- retail trade (10%)
- construction (8%).
We answered 12,593 enquiries over web chat and email, and an additional 4654 enquiries through our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, an increase of 78% from the 2018–19 period.
Our Facebook followers grew by 23% over the year, with 151,686 followers at 30 June 2020. Our Twitter account had 20,424 followers, a growth of 8.2%. We also significantly increased our activities on LinkedIn, which resulted in a 279% increase in followers – from 9572 to 36,291 followers.