Enforcement, legislation and conference news


Enforcement, legislation and conference news

Horse racing industry focus of new campaign in NSW, Vic and Qld | Sham contracts in building industry — allegations | National Disability Insurance Scheme Rules released | HR Practices Day — presented by AHRI.


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The Fair Work Ombudsman will audit up to 90 horse-racing trainers over the next three months to check they are paying their employees their full entitlements.

About 30 trainers will be selected at random for audit in each of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland across regions including:
  • NSW: Sydney and the Hunter, Orange/Dubbo, North Coast and South Coast regions.
  • Vic: Melbourne, Bellarine Peninsula, East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsula and South-Western Victoria.
  • Qld: Brisbane, Gold Coast, Mackay region and Toowoomba region.

Inspectors will check that trainers are paying workers in line with minimum wage and penalty rates and complying with record keeping and pay slip obligations.

There will be a focus on ensuring stablehands and strappers are being paid correctly.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson, said the horse racing industry was selected for auditing because it has been the source of dozens of complaints over the past two years, with most cases involving underpayment of stablehands.

Sham contracts in building industry — allegations

Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) alleges NSW employers engaged eight foreign workers on sham contracts in current legal proceedings.

FWBC alleges that eight workers should have been paid according to the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 (the Award), rather than a flat rate of $20 per hour. They were also allegedly entitled to annual leave and rostered days off which they didn’t receive.

A directions hearing is scheduled for 24 April 2013.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Rules released

The Gillard Government has released further detail of the rules that will guide how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) works for people with disability, their families, carers and service providers.

The rules support the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill, which is currently before the Australian Parliament. The Bill establishes the NDIS, including eligibility criteria and what constitutes reasonable and necessary support, and the NDIS Agency to deliver the scheme.

The rules provide a further level of detail on how the NDIS will work, including how people with disability will be able to access the scheme, and how the Agency will determine what supports are reasonable to meet a person’s needs.

They also provide a guide to what kinds of supports will be funded, and what supports are best delivered by other systems of support, like the health or education systems.

The rules also set out how the NDIS Launch Transition Agency will work with people with disability, their families and carers and how service providers will register with the Agency.

The five launch sites are the Hunter in New South Wales, the Barwon area of Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory from July 2014.

The rules will be open for public comment until 23 March 2013.

HR Practices Day — presented by AHRI

HR Practices Day is a nationwide series of informative and interactive conferences, allowing participants to learn from the initiatives and experiences of leading practitioners in the profession.

The conferences are organised by AHRI and will focus on the development of delegate skills in various HR specialist areas with a particular emphasis on the application of best practice. The following components have been employed to shape the events:
  • the inclusion of high-profile experts on key HR areas
  • HR in practice case studies that will include best practice examples
  • interactive sessions focusing on skills development and application.  
HR Practices Day provides an opportunity for both delegates and sponsors to network personally with generalist HR practitioners, consultants, operational line managers, team leaders and professionals responsible for people/organisational matters.
The Practices Days run from 14 March to 30 April at venues around Australia. For details and to register click here.
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