Watchdogs busy: learning and building

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Watchdogs busy: learning and building

Adult learning education centres in Sydney’s CBD will be targeted by the Workplace Ombudsman, with an emphasis on pay-slip records and record-keeping requirements. Meanwhile, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has moved to strip three WA CFMEU officials of their right of entry permits that allows them to enter worksites.

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Adult learning education centres in Sydney’s CBD will be targeted by the Workplace Ombudsman, with an emphasis on pay-slip records and record-keeping requirements. Meanwhile, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has moved to strip three WA CFMEU officials of their right of entry permits that allows them to enter worksites.

Ombudsman targets adult learning industry

Adult learning education centres in Sydney’s CBD will be targeted by the Workplace Ombudsman, with an emphasis on pay-slip records and record-keeping requirements.

The Workplace Ombudsman’s executive director Michael Campbell said the audits are being conducted to ensure employers are complying with workplace law and to inform employers in the industry about their workplace obligations.

‘The audits are taking place due to a concern held by the Workplace Ombudsman that employers in the adult learning education industry in Sydney are not keeping adequate employment records for their employees,’ Campbell said.

Scrutiny

‘Without adequate employment records, employers will have difficulty in proving that they are affording their employees their correct wages and entitlements. Therefore, employers found to have inadequate record keeping systems will draw the scrutiny of workplace inspectors.'

‘Where workplace inspectors find that employers have inadequate employment records they will be provided with information and materials to assist them comply.'

‘If we find serious or wilful breaches of workplace law we are able to escalate our compliance response accordingly.’

Campbell said the campaign was launched as a result of the significant number of claims lodged by workers in the NSW adult learning education industry.

Ripped off

‘Our experience has revealed that some employers are not keeping employment records or the records kept are not adequate,’ he said. ‘This campaign is aimed at rectifying that and ensuring that employees are not being ripped off.’

Follow-up audits of selected employers will be conducted by the Workplace Ombudsman after the initial campaign is completed to ensure that compliance levels in the industry are increased and sustained.


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Building watchdog applies for bans on CFMEU officials

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) has moved to strip three WA CFMEU officials of their right of entry permits that allows them to enter worksites.

The ABCC has applied to the AIRC to have the permits of officials Walter Molina, Michael Buchan and Doug Heath revoked or suspended.

The ABCC also wants the CFMEU required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that CFMEU WA assistant secretary Joe McDonald does not purport to exercise right of entry under the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

Trespassing charges

McDonald is facing a series of charges of trespassing on worksites, but has already been acquitted of at least one. McDonald does not hold a Federal or State right of entry permit.

The ABCC also wants to AIRC to impose a condition on all permits held by WA CFMEU officials, or issued to its officials in the future, that the permit holder not enter or remain on site in the company of, or in concert with, McDonald; and to prohibit the union for a period of three years from applying to the Registrar of the AIRC for the issue of a permit to McDonald.

The ABCC has issued a ‘backgrounder’ in which it states its reasons for applying for the orders against the CFMEU officials.

Abusive manner

The backgrounder alleges that WA CFMEU officials including McDonald, Buchan, Heath and McDonald, in various combinations, entered worksites where there were allegations of abusive manners towards site managers and ABCC inspectors, and refused to comply with reasonable requests.

It is also alleged that McDonald purported to ‘exercise a right under the WR Act’ when he had no such right.


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