Media release

4 October 2011

Results for Queensland metal finishing sector

Three-quarters of businesses in Queensland’s metal finishing sector are complying with workplace laws, random audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman show.

Fair Work inspectors have recently checked the books of 413 employers throughout the State - and with 412 audits finalised, 306 (74 per cent) were found to be compliant.

From the 106 employers who recorded contraventions, inspectors have recouped more than $90,000 for a total of 203 workers who had been underpaid.

One business remains under investigation.

Money recovered includes:

  • $52,400 for 112 workers in and around Brisbane,
  • $9200 for 11 workers on the Sunshine Coast,
  • $8300 for eight workers in and around Toowoomba,
  • $6500 for 10 workers on the Fraser Coast,
  • $6400 for 37 workers in and around Cairns,
  • $5000 for 18 workers on the Gold Coast, and
  • $3400 for seven workers around Bundaberg and Rockhampton.

The metal finishing sector - including trades such as welding and boiler making - was selected for attention following recent complaints from the industry.

The lowest rate of contraventions identified was on the Gold Coast, with just over 11 per cent of employers recording breaches.

The highest rate of just under 40 per cent was recorded in the Northern centres of Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

Inspectors found the majority of employers they assessed were paying their staff a higher hourly rate than that prescribed under the Award.

Underpayments that were discovered were largely the result of employers not being familiar with all of the Award rates and applicable industrial instruments.

“Where we found mistakes, we were able to assist the employers to voluntarily rectify them and provide practical advice to ensure the errors are not repeated,” Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said.

People seeking support understanding their workplace rights and obligations should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50, and the website has information translated into 27 different languages.

Campaign result: QLD Manufacturing Industry (Metal Finishing Sector) Audit Program 2010 (pdf 203KB) pdf icon

Media inquiries:

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

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Page last updated: 04 Oct 2011