Audit shows 1 in 5 employers in ‘minor’ breach of workplace laws

News

Audit shows 1 in 5 employers in ‘minor’ breach of workplace laws

More than one in five employers in Albury–Wodonga are not complying with the national workplace laws, according to random audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Meanwhile, security companies at Tasmanian festivals have a good record.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

More than one in five employers in Albury–Wodonga are not complying with the national workplace laws, according to random audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Meanwhile, security companies at Tasmanian festivals have a good record.
 
Cold-call visits to Albury–Wodonga
 
A team of 20 Fair Work inspectors made cold-call visits to 191 Albury–Wodonga local employers over two days last September to ensure staff were being paid correctly.
 
Releasing the results of the campaign today, Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell said 79% — or 151 businesses — have been given the thumbs up.
 
Pleasing outcome
 
‘This is a pleasing outcome,’ Campbell said, noting that the compliance rate eclipsed the 70% figure recorded in previous Victorian record-keeping campaigns.
 
Fair Work inspectors from Wagga, Bendigo and Melbourne checked the books of local retail and light industry businesses on 16 and 17 September last year.
 
Campbell said that of the 40 businesses found to be in breach of workplace laws, 36 were of a minor technical nature, mainly associated with information on workers’ payslips and time-and-wages records, and these were easily rectified with the help from inspectors.
 
Eight employees underpaid
 
He said the campaign identified only eight employees who had been underpaid, and the $6488 they were collectively owed was promptly and voluntarily reimbursed by the employers involved.
 
The underpayments resulted from employers incorrectly calculating casual pay rates and the non-payment of overtime.
 
‘After the employers were made aware of their obligations they swiftly back paid the workers and updated their record keeping practices,’ Campbell said.
 
Flexible approach
 
‘We have a flexible and fair approach and our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues,’ he said.
 
The Albury–Wodonga campaign included an information and education session for business people attended by 40 employers.
 
Campbell said the face-to-face visits by Fair Work inspectors were received positively by employers, who were informed of the campaign in advance via local media.
 
Accurate records
 
‘A lack of accurate records remains an obstacle when we undertake audits and investigate complaints, so it is important employers understand their obligations with respect to keeping up-to-date records,’ he said.
 
‘Good records help us resolve any potential disputes swiftly and efficiently,’ he said.
 
 
Thumbs up for security firms
 
Meanwhile, security companies contracted to work at festivals in Tasmania have been given the thumbs up by the Ombudsman after random audits found a high level of compliance with workplace laws.
 
The regulator conducted a targeted campaign following concerns from the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union that security staff working at the festivals were not receiving their full entitlements.
 
Fair Work inspectors scrutinised employment records for companies engaged at Taste of Tasmania, Soundscape, Falls Festival, MS Fest and Festivale.
 
Open books
 
Companies were asked to open their books to ensure they were keeping appropriate time-and-wages records and paying correct wages, loadings, penalties and allowances.
 
Fair Work Ombudsman Tasmania Director Glenn Jordan says the campaign uncovered three minor underpayments and two record-keeping contraventions.
 
Four workers have been back paid a total of $150.
 
Post details