Ombudsman ends probe into Rudd's wife's company

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Ombudsman ends probe into Rudd's wife's company

The employment company owned by the wife of the Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, has passed an investigation by the Workplace Ombudsman into claims of underpayments and there will be no further action in the matter.

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The employment company owned by the wife of the Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, has passed an investigation by the Workplace Ombudsman into claims of underpayments and there will be no further action in the matter.

The company, WorkDirections, was accused of underpaying and wrongly classifying workers in a company it acquired called Your Employment Solutions, but claimed this was an oversight corrected as soon as it was discovered.

The Ombudsman said approximately 20% of WorkDirections' workers had been randomly sampled and the relevant records examined.

Paid correctly

An analysis of records relating to the sampled workers revealed that the employees had been classified and paid correctly for the period of the audit.

The Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson, said that based on the results of this targeted audit, he will not take any further action unless a specific individual complaint is received.

The Workplace Ombudsman reported on 26 June 2007 that its investigation had found that although WorkDirections had breached the Workplace Relations Act 1996 by underpaying their employees, this had not occurred as a result of deliberate action by WorkDirections, and that the company had acted voluntarily to rectify the underpayments before the Workplace Ombudsman had become involved.

Not in public interest to prosecute

In the light of these findings the Workplace Ombudsman concluded that it was not in the pubic interest to prosecute WorkDirections for breaches of workplace law.

‘The Workplace Ombudsman thanks WorkDirections for its cooperation in this matter,' Wilson said.

A separate investigation into Barry Smith and Associates Pty Ltd is being held to determine whether it had paid the Your Employment Solutions employees their correct wages and entitlements when it owned the company. This investigation is ongoing.

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