FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN TEXTILE CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN - Part I

Below is information provided by the FWO on their Educational Campaign for the TCF Sector.

Background

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO’s) sees its mission as to educate, promote fairness and ensure justice in the workplace.

FWO aims to do so through empowering people with information on which they can act, and giving confidence to citizens that their rights will be observed.

One of the ways the FWO delivers on these goals is through the implementation of educational and compliance campaigns.

These campaigns focus on those industries considered to be at risk, such as the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry.

FWO campaigns are specifically designed to raise awareness of and improve compliance with Australian workplace laws.

During 2015, an education campaign focusing on the TCF industry will be conducted by the FWO and will aim to:

  • Raise the awareness of industry participants regarding their rights and obligations
  • Increase awareness in the TCF community about the assistance and support available
  • Advise employers in the industry of the available tools, resources and support FWO can offer so as to make compliance easier
  • Promote the benefits associated with compliance, such as a level playing field for employers and fair wages for workers &
  • Gather useful information to inform a future compliance campaign

The education campaign will focus on reaching multiple levels of participants within the industry. The FWO is aware that to have a significant impact it needs to be reaching all participants across the supply chain including, retailers, merchant distributors, employers, factory workers and outworkers.

The campaign will focus specifically on the Clothing Manufacturing and the Cut and Sewn Textile Product Manufacturing sub sectors of the TCF industry as well as those retailers and merchant distributors/wholesalers that stock and distribute those goods.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders will play an integral role in shaping the education strategy. Taking an national industry wide approach, campaign stakeholders will include industry bodies, government departments/bodies, employer organisations, employee associations and community groups representing retailers right through to outworkers.

Through stakeholder consultation the FWO aims to gain a clear understanding of the industry, including the key players and structures within the supply chain.

The FWO stakeholder engagement plan also acknowledges each stakeholder represents different interests, has varying knowledge of industrial relations information, has their own agenda and may not all be willing to engage with FWO.

The common thread between stakeholders will be their desire to create a level playing field and rid the industry of any unfair competitive practises. This will need to be a key message the FWO promotes in seeking information and promotional support from stakeholders.

Current research and feedback obtained by the FWO on outworkers highlighted that information regarding the clothing and footwear industry is limited, outdated and sometimes biased. To address this, the FWO will commence stakeholder discussions aimed at sharing intelligence that will enable us to shape and refine our methodology for identifying and connecting with outworkers.  This will also provide the opportunity to identify stakeholders they engage with, build our pool of stakeholders as well as identify gaps in our knowledge of the industry.

Stakeholder engagement will include direct contact with each of the stakeholders through written correspondence seeking their cooperation and assistance.  Where possible, representatives from FWO will meet with many of the primary stakeholders also.

The education campaign commenced in early March 2015.

More details on this will be provided as they come to hand.

You can read more information on this campaign here.

You can visit the FWO page for this campaign here.

Thanks for reading!