One leading lawyer has identified accessorial liability as the most critical workplace law trend of 2016
HR directors and corporate leaders beware: the FWO is taking legal action against individuals under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Athena Koelmeyer outlines the repercussions
2016 has seen an increase in the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) efforts to pursue directors and managers, including HR and payroll managers, for their involvement in contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).
Legal action against individuals is made possible through s550 of the FW Act, which aims to personally expose those who are the controlling “hands and minds” of an organisation. Section 550 intends to make decision makers liable for their decisions, removing the opportunity for them to hide behind the “corporate veil”. This is generally referred to as “accessorial liability”.
Accessorial liability attaches when an individual is “involved in” a contravention of the FW Act. An individual will be taken to be “involved in” a contravention if the person: