$10m in NSW Budget to target IR compliance

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$10m in NSW Budget to target IR compliance

The 2007-08 NSW Budget has provided $10m to the Office of Industrial Relations to fund 350 targeted compliance campaigns to ensure fair competition and working conditions.

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The 2007-08 NSW Budget has provided $10m to the Office of Industrial Relations to fund 350 targeted compliance campaigns to ensure fair competition and working conditions.

Industries that will be targeted for showing below average compliance will include road transport, retail, clothing manufacturers and cafes and restaurants.

$6m for employers

As well, $6m will be set aside to provide information and assistance to employers.

IR Minister, John Della Bosca, said other priorities for the Office include:

  • Delivering a community relations program to help vulnerable workers understand their rights in the workplace
  • Maintaining a strong focus on assistance to small and medium business-owners, through expanded telephone and on-line services together with targeted workshop programs
  • Delivering workplace audits to protect the employment rights of vulnerable workers, particularly in relation to unpaid trial work and minimum pay entitlements

Della Bosca said that over the past year inspectors from the NSW Office of Industrial Relations conducted more than 9,000 investigations and recovered over $4m for NSW workers.

Successful wage recoveries included:

  • Four casual takeaway staff in the Hunter — $2,954 recovered
  • A finance clerk from the Southern Highlands — $11,726 in unpaid wages
  • Twenty farm workers on the Mid-North Coast — $8,580 recovered for underpayments
  • A North Coast commercial traveller — m $7.151 for unpaid long service leave and holiday pay

Della Bosca said in the past financial year the IR Office had received 179,000 calls as workers and employers sought guidance and advice.

Good 'overall', says business

NSW's largest business group, NSW Business Chamber, said today's State Budget was a strong document in terms of infrastructure and the containment of government expenditure, but weak in terms of reducing the tax burden on NSW businesses.

'Overall this is a good Budget, but it could have been so much more', said Kevin MacDonald, CEO of NSW Business Chamber. 'The Budget is in surplus, expenditure has been contained, a strategy for significant infrastructure investment is in place, yet despite $4.5bn in additional revenue, the Government has refused to provide taxation relief.

'The NSW Government is fortunate that the economy has turned and in part I attribute that to the employment growth despite the ongoing debate on workplace reform.'

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