Frequently asked questions
1. I have been made redundant and my employer can't pay my entitlements, what do I do?
If your employer is in liquidation or bankruptcy you can lodge a claim for FEG assistance for certain categories of employment entitlements that are left unpaid by your employer.
If the employer has not entered bankruptcy or liquidation FEG payments are not available—you should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman in relation to the employer's refusal to pay your entitlements.
In order to apply for FEG assistance a liquidator or bankruptcy trustee must have been appointed to the employer, and you must have lost your job due to the company's insolvency or bankruptcy (or within the six month period prior to the appointment of an insolvency practitioner to the company).
2. Can I make a claim through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme if I am still working for the employer?
No. One of the requirements to be eligible for FEG assistance is that employment must have ended.
3. What employee entitlements does the FEG scheme cover?
FEG assistance can be paid for 5 categories of unpaid employment entitlements only:
- wages—up to 13 weeks of unpaid or underpaid wages ending at the earlier of the:
- date your employment ended, or
- the first date an insolvency practitioner was appointed (provided the insolvency practitioner had power to manage the business affairs of the employer)
- annual leave
- long service leave
- payment in lieu of notice—maximum of 5 weeks
- redundancy pay—where redundancy is payable under the governing instrument, the amount legally owing is payable, but is subject to a cap of 4 weeks per full year of service.
4. Does the FEG scheme cover unpaid employer superannuation contributions?
No. Unpaid employer superannuation contributions under the Superannuation Guarantee are not covered by the FEG scheme. Queries in relation to unpaid employer superannuation contributions should be directed to the Australian Taxation Office.
5. How do I make a claim?
Online lodgement is the easy way to make a claim. Simply register for FEG Online Services to complete and lodge your form.
If you are unable to lodge a claim form online, you can submit a paper based FEG claim form instead. Copies of the claim form are available from the FEG website or by contacting the FEG Hotline on 1300 135 040. Paper based claim forms must be lodged by the following ways:
Fair Entitlements Guarantee Branch
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
Read the 'How do I apply for FEG assistance fact sheet' for more information on making a claim.
6. How much time do I have to lodge my claim?
We must receive a completed claim form, answering all mandatory questions and including all mandatory documentation specified in the claim form, within 12 months from the later of the date:
- a liquidator was appointed to your former employer
- your employment with your former employer was terminated.
For example, if you lost your job on 6 November 2018 and the liquidator was appointed on 3 December 2018, you must make sure the department receives your completed FEG claim form and mandatory documentation before the end of 3 December 2019 (Canberra, ACT time).
If you do not lodge a completed claim form and mandatory documentation within this time, you will not be eligible for a FEG advance. It is therefore in your interests to lodge your claim as early as possible and respond promptly to any request for further information.
7. How long will my claim take to process?
We aim to process claims within 16 weeks of an effective claim being made. This is a general guideline as claims sometimes do take longer where there are difficulties in calculating entitlements, complexities in the claim assessment or during periods of high demand for FEG assistance.
As outlined in the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Service Charter, we rely on you to:
- provide all the supporting information asked for in the claim form when you submit your claim, and respond promptly and accurately to any request for further information
- let us know immediately if there are any changes to your contact details or your circumstances, eg if you have started work with a new employer or are receiving entitlements from another source
- tell us directly and as early as possible if you think we have made a mistake.
8. What sort of documentation will I have to provide?
Before assessment of your claim can commence, you must provide evidence of your Australian citizenship or residency status. Acceptable evidence of your Australian citizenship or residency status includes a copy of at least one of the following categories of documents:
- Australian passport issued no later than the date of the end of your employment
- Full Australian Birth Certificate. Extracts of birth certificates are insufficient
- Australian Citizenship Certificate issued prior to the end of your employment. Including both sides if there is anything on the reverse side
- ImmiCard that is linked to an official online record of your permanent Australian visa, and which confirms that the visa was issued prior to the end of your employment
- Registration by Descent document
- Where appropriate, for the purpose of proving you hold a permanent visa, a copy of a passport that is linked to an official online record of your permanent Australian visa, and which confirms that the visa was issued prior to the end of your employment; or a copy of the visa label from your passport (passport details must be visible); or a copy of the Visa Grant Notice that includes the details of your passport you used to apply for that visa
- Where appropriate, for the purpose of proving you held a Special Category visa at the end of your employment, a current New Zealand passport that is linked to an official online record of your Special Category Visa, and which confirms that the visa was issued prior to the end of your employment, or a New Zealand passport that was current at the end of your employment or, if your passport had expired, the most recent expired New Zealand passport that you held at the time you entered Australia prior to working for the employer
- Confirmation of Identity and Citizenship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people where other documentation is not available. The form is available on the FEG website on the Industrial Relations Publications page.
Please note: your driver's licence is not acceptable evidence of your citizenship or residency status.
Acceptable evidence of your former name (required only if you were known by another name)
Where the name on the document does not match the name that you are claiming under you will also need to provide proof of the change of name by providing one of either:
- Change of Name Certificate, or
- Marriage Certificate.
Important: We will verify the authenticity of the mandatory documents that you provide us with the agency or organisation that issued the document.
The following list includes examples of the other types of documents that may help us to assess your claim:
- signed employment contract or letter of appointment
- PAYG payment summaries
- bank statements for the 13 weeks prior to the initial appointment of the insolvency practitioner (or if your employment ended before the appointment of the insolvency practitioner, bank statements for the 13 week period prior to the end of your employment)
- bank statements for the 30 days immediately after your employment ended
- evidence of weekly or annual wage rate
- Employment Separation Certificate
- letter of termination.
9. Who do I contact if I do not understand or know the answer to a question on the claim form?
Contact the FEG Hotline on 1300 135 040 (9am–5pm Monday to Friday Canberra time, excluding ACT and national public holidays) for further advice on completing a FEG claim form.
10. Is there a shopfront that I can visit to speak to someone face-to-face?
No. All contact with FEG is via the FEG Hotline on 1300 135 040 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. How do you calculate my entitlements?
The insolvency practitioner usually has access to company books and records and is able to advise the department of the employee entitlements owed by your employer. Where company records are not of a standard needed to verify your entitlements we may request evidence from you to support your claim (see question 8 for examples).
12. What is the insolvency practitioner's role under FEG?
The insolvency practitioner is appointed to manage the affairs of the employer including verifying employee entitlements for FEG.
To verify claims under FEG, we usually seek information from the insolvency practitioner in charge of the books and records of the employer.
For more detailed information about the role of the insolvency practitioner under FEG, read the Information for insolvency practitioners fact sheet.
13. How will I receive my payment?
Once a claim has been approved for payment, we will calculate and deduct any tax owed or other legal deductions owed from the payment, then transfer funds directly into your nominated bank account within two business days of claim approval.
14. When will I receive a PAYG payment summary for my FEG advance?
PAYG payment summaries are automatically generated upon claim approval and usually emailed to you. If you do not receive your PAYG payment summary within 48 hours of claim approval, please contact the FEG Hotline on 1300 135 040.
15. My (former) employer is no longer trading, and the director has abandoned the business (but it is not in liquidation). What do I do?
Employees of abandoned companies who are owed employee entitlements may wish to seek legal advice about the steps necessary to place a company into liquidation. Employees may also make an application to request assistance from Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to wind up the company. Visit the ASIC website for more information.
16. Is there government assistance available to help me find new employment?
If you have been made redundant from your job you could be eligible to receive help from jobactive. jobactive is the Australian Government's employment service, designed to meet the needs of job seekers and employers and improve job outcomes.
jobactive can provide you with tailored help according to your assessed needs. Assistance could include help with writing a resume and preparing for interviews, referrals to jobs, or training that is suited to the skills that local employers need. This support is delivered by jobactive providers located around Australia.
To find out what assistance is available through jobactive call the Job Seeker Hotline on 13 62 68 or you can contact Services Australia on 13 28 50. They will assess your circumstances and eligibility for jobactive and refer you to a jobactive provider.
17. What tax will be withheld if you pay me FEG assistance directly?
If you are eligible for FEG assistance, the payment must be taxed in accordance with the notice of variation under section 15-15 of Schedule 1 to the Tax Administration Act 1953. The How is tax withheld under FEG fact sheet includes more information.