Media release

28 July 2011

Strong “pass” rate for Darwin caravan parks

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson today released the results of a recent targeted campaign focused on Darwin caravan parks.

Mr Wilson - visiting Darwin today - revealed that 70 per cent of parks randomly audited by Fair Work inspectors were found to be compliant with workplace law.

He says the result is encouraging, given the campaign was prompted by an earlier discovery that one local park had underpaid three of its staff more than $25,000.

Darwin-based Fair Work inspectors visited 10 caravan parks, looking particularly at employment records for the period July 26 - August 9, 2010.

They also provided information and advice to each business about the education, advice and assistance available to employers from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Mr Wilson says seven of the 10 parks were found to be compliant, while three recorded contraventions.

Breaches included underpayment of the minimum hourly rate, non-payment of penalty rates, non-payment of allowances and a failure to pay for minimum engagement.

Thirteen employees have so far been reimbursed more than $16,200 in back-pay.

Two of the three non-compliant parks voluntarily rectified their underpayments immediately.

The third - the same one which had previously underpaid three staff more than $25,000 - has entered into a payment plan and remains under investigation.

Mr Wilson used his Darwin visit to remind Northern Territory business-owners who want support understanding their workplace obligations that the Fair Work Ombudsman can help.

The Agency has an office in the CBD on Level 5, 47 Mitchell Street.

Employers can also visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website - www.fairwork.gov.au - or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8 am to 6 pm weekdays.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck, Payroll Check, a Pay Rates Calculator and an Award Finder to assist employers calculate correct pay rates for their employees.

Free documentation is also available Online for employers to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, including letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay slip templates, leave application forms, a self-audit check list and workplace complaint form.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

A series of Best Practice Guides have also been created by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist with individual flexibility arrangements, work and family, consultation and co-operation, employing young workers, gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance, effective dispute resolution, parental leave and improving workplace productivity in bargaining.

To assist foreign workers employed in the Top End, there are now new Online videos to assist them understand their workplace rights and entitlements.

The short videos - available at www.youtube.com/fairworkgovau External link icon - are presented by native speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian, Serbian, Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai and Turkish.

Mr Wilson also encouraged workers to talk to their employers if they have a question about their job or if an issue arises in the workplace.

“Often issues come up because of a breakdown in communication or a simple mistake that’s easy to fix,” he said.
 
Any worker who would like more information and advice about their work situation is encouraged to contact the Fair Work Infoline or visit the website.

A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50 and information on the website is available in up to 27 different languages.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au External link icon.

Attention News Editors/Chiefs of Staff:

Mr Wilson is available for interviews/photographs whilst in Darwin today.

Media inquiries:

Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
cameron.jackson@fwo.gov.au

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 28 Jul 2011