Ombudsman educating and auditing

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Ombudsman educating and auditing

Fair Work inspectors to visit 1000 Adelaide employers; Campaign results from Melbourne audits – restaurants and grocery stores.

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Fair Work inspectors to visit 1000 Adelaide employers; Campaign results from Melbourne audits — restaurants and grocery stores.
 
Fair Work inspectors to visit 1000 Adelaide employers
 
The Fair Work Ombudsman will make educational visits to around 1000 small- and medium-sized businesses throughout Adelaide, between now and Christmas.

Fair Work inspectors will provide information packs to employers previously covered by the South Australian industrial relations system but who are now under the national workplace relations system.

Focus
 
Particular focus will be on travel agents, doctors and dentists, as well as businesses involved in general retail, food retail, hospitality, personal services, office administration and child care.

Understand national workplace laws
 
Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the informal visits aim to assist employers to understand national workplace laws, including the National Employment Standards and Modern Awards.

‘Information packs being distributed include helpful resources such as fact sheets, templates and Best Practice Guides — providing advice on practical steps employers can take to adjust to the federal system,’ Mr Wilson said.

‘We are very serious about our job of building knowledge and creating fairer workplaces and we are strongly focused on ensuring the community understands its workplace rights and obligations.’

‘The best workplace relations advice I can give to business operators is to get the basics right and everything else should start to fall into place.’

‘By the basics, I mean knowing what Award applies to your employees, the correct classifications and pay rates.’

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a single point of contact for people working or running a business in Australia to get accurate and timely information about their workplace rights and obligations.

Workers or employers seeking support should get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website or phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

The website has a number of tools and resources including PayCheck, Payroll Check, a Pay Rate Calculator and an Award Finder to help business owners calculate the correct pay for their employees.


Campaign results from Melbourne audits — restaurants and grocery stores
 
Three-quarters of Japanese restaurants and Asian grocery stores randomly audited during a recent campaign in Melbourne did not comply with workplace laws, the Fair Work Ombudsman has revealed.

Fair Work inspectors checked the books of 44 businesses in the CBD and at Holmesglen station at Malvern East, to assess record-keeping and pay slip practices and to ensure employees were being paid correctly.

Of 32 audits finalised, 24 employers (75 per cent) recorded contraventions, with more than $151,500 in underpaid wages and entitlements being recovered for a total of 134 employees.
 
Twelve businesses remain under investigation.

Underpayments
 
Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the underpayments were primarily the result of workers — some of them international students — being short-changed their minimum hourly rate and not receiving public holiday, weekend and night-shift loadings.

Mr Wilson says inspectors believe most contraventions were inadvertent and resulted from a lack of awareness by employers of their obligations rather than a deliberate attempt to under pay staff.

‘A number of employers we spoke to indicated they were not aware of the correct minimum hourly rate and the appropriate loadings and penalties that applied to their staff,’ he said.

‘Some employers also advised they were unaware of the difference between part time and casual employment and, as a result, their employees did not receive their correct entitlements.’
 
‘Where inspectors have discovered contraventions, they have worked with the employer to voluntarily rectify them and put processes in place to ensure they are not repeated.’

Mr Wilson said the campaign findings highlighted the need for the Fair Work Ombudsman to continue to provide education and advice to the industry and to monitor and enforce compliance.
 
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