BAS agents and Fair Work advice

Are you responsible for following the Award for your clients? As BAS agents, providing advice on Modern Awards is not part of your services. The simple reason for this is that Modern Awards fall under the criteria of Fair Work Ombudsman rather than the Commissioner of Taxation, which is where the BAS agent falls.

However, there are variations to services provided which can indeed cross over into Fair Work advice.

This can generally only occur when the engagement with the client stipulates that the BAS Agent will be providing services in this capacity in addition to the usual BAS agent services. Whatever the case, it is always paramount to act lawfully when it comes to the interests of the client. However, if this is a requirement then it is imperative to ensure being qualified in that capacity.

When a BAS Agent is qualified as a HR Intermediary, you are able to obtain human resources and/or employment law expertise from an external HR provider e.g. Workforce Guardian. You are then acting behalf of the client to understand the requirements of Fair Work Act 2009.

There are grey areas that need to be considered, particularly when it comes to Award interpretations. This may be where as a HR intermediary you have similar situations requiring the same advice or course of action. But be aware of the limitations to the role and the extent that can be advised.

Where the BAS Agent is not a HR Intermediary, and or it has not been stipulated to be part of your engagement, then the client can seek assistance directly from an external HR professional.

Something to keep in mind is that the role of BAS agents is growing and evolving so it is good practice to be aware of Fair Work regulations, even just for yourself.

Hally Rhiannon-Nammu, Resource and Contents Editor, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is a valued partner of Inside Small Business

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