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FITREC references Fair Work Ombudsman advice in ongoing dispute over registration of industry professionals

FITREC references Fair Work Ombudsman advice in ongoing dispute over registration of industry professionals
January 12, 2021

Registration body FITREC has highlighted advice received from the Fair Work Ombudsman in its ongoing dispute with fitness registration bodies Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia.

Highlighting advice that says "employees should not need to spend money in order to secure employment", the for-profit registration body is suggesting that Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia (PAA)'s registration schemes are a way of forcing "an employee to buy fitness registration".

The body makes no mentions of occupations, vocations and professions that require minimum qualification and registration in order to be employed, or of the professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover that professionals registered with Fitness Australia receive.

In a statement on its website, FITREC explains "we've had this question a few times recently.

"While we hold fitness registration in high regard - specifically, FITREC registration - we recognise it's not a legal requirement. All the same, can an employer force an employee to purchase registration?

"According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, this is a clear 'no'.

"A prospective employee cannot be made to pay a fee - to anyone - in order to receive a job offer.

"An employee cannot be made to pay a fee - to anyone - in order to keep their job.

"Obviously, if the employer is paying for it, that's cool. But in the interest of clarity, it can't then be garnishee from the employee's wage.

"General protections also exist that give employees the right to freedom of association. That is, who they register with, or if they register at all. To do otherwise is considered 'adverse action'."

FITREC then highlights key quotes from the Fair Work Ombudsman as follows:

Employees should not need to spend money in order to secure employment
This applies to any of the employee’s or prospective employee’s money, not just the pay they get for working.

This means that an employer can’t:

• Ask a prospective employee to pay money just to receive a job offer
• Ask employees to pay money to keep their job
• Pay the employee the correct pay rate and then make them give some of it back.

Commenting on the advice, FITREC founder and Managing Director, Dennis Hosking (pictured above) stated “a reference to an 'ongoing dispute' between FITREC and alternative registration bodies is incorrect. FITREC has a very positive working relationship with PAA.

“Regarding Fitness Australia … the purpose is never been to denigrate Fitness Australia. I have only sought to provide a more balanced and informed viewpoint. If my promotion of 'best practice' is at odds with the operations of Fitness Australia, it is nothing to do with any alleged dispute.

“I made no suggestion at all that the 'registration schemes' of PAA and FA were a way of 'forcing an employee to buy the registration'. I do acknowledge that Fitness Australia has a business membership that requires employers to only employ FA registered professionals. This is what led our members to ask the questions that inspired the recent post.

“As to minimum qualifications, there is no legal minimum to work in the fitness industry. Professionals can be Cert III, degree qualified or internationally accredited. For this reason, FITREC focuses on transparency and accountability rather than the mandate of unenforceable rules.

“I would also like to clarify that, as with all registration providers, Fitness Australia registration does not include professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover. This is an additional expense for professionals. On this point, to the benefit of fitness professionals, FITREC does not take a commission from our insurance partners.

"We are the only registration provider to do this.”

Click here for more information. 

About the author

Mel Tempest

Fitness Business Influencer Speaker Podcaster

Mel Tempest is the Chief Executive and the founder at Ignite Fitness Business Events, the host and founder of The Gym Owners Fitness Business Podcast and The Womens Leaders Fitness Business Podcast.

In 2017, Tempest, who organises fitness business events and roundtable events globally, was the first Australian to receive an award from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and, in the same year her Ballarat health club was in the top three Smart Company Australian awards.

In 2019 and in 2020 she was recognised as a top three fitness business influencers in the USA by the Association Of Fitness Studios.

In 2005 she was the first Australian to receive approval from the Equal Opportunity Board and Human Rights Commission to open Australia’s first male gym.

Click here to visit Mel's LinkedIn page.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

4th January 2021 - Fitness Australia calls for Federal government to introduce national plan to improve physical activity rates

18th December 2020 - FITREC cites Fair Work Ombudsman advice in ongoing battle over registration of industry professionals

17th December 2020 - FITREC launches industry benchmarking tool

16th December 2020 - Survey finds online fitness no replacement for real life connection

2nd December 2020 - Australian Institute of Fitness predicts top industry trends for 2021

9th October 2020 - Fair Work Ombudsman recovers wages for stadium cleaners

7th October 2020 - Fitness Australia Chief Executive slams ‘potentially damaging’ FITREC claims

6th October 2020 - FITREC expresses concern about Fitness Australia’s ‘Service Excellence Program’

10th September 2020 - FITREC delivers Code of Practice for outdoor fitness training in public spaces

25th May 2020 - ASSA calls on Fair Work Commission to freeze Fitness Industry Award

24th March 2020 - FITREC’s Dennis Hosking slams ‘cavalier and irresponsible approach’ of Fitness Australia in promoting continuation of outdoor training services

5th November 2019 - Martial Arts instructor sacked for using mobile phone at work wins $7000 payout after Fair Work Commission ruling

3rd January 2018 - Fair Work Commission considers Fitness Industry Award penalty rate rises

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