Media release

Aged care sector latest focus in Queensland

26 March 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman is checking the books of up to 125 retirement villages and nursing homes as part of its latest education and compliance campaign in Queensland.

Fair Work inspectors have contacted employers throughout metropolitan and regional Queensland, including Brisbane, Bowen, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Port Douglas and Townsville.

Inspectors are checking that employers are paying staff their full entitlements, including minimum pay rates and penalty rates, and are complying with record-keeping obligations.

They are sensitive to the special needs of businesses affected by recent natural disasters and extreme weather events.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the campaign is in response to employee complaints and concerns raised by key stakeholders.

Mr Wilson says a key focus of the campaign is to raise employer awareness of the free resources available to assist them to understand and comply with workplace laws, including the Aged Care Award 2010.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website - www.fairwork.gov.au - has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to assist business-owners calculate the correct pay for their employees.

PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rates of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

“If inspectors find minor or inadvertent contraventions, our preference will be to educate the employer and assist them to voluntarily rectify the issue,” Mr Wilson said.

“The campaign will also benefit employers who are complying with workplace laws because our auditing of compliance with minimum pay rates will help to ensure businesses are competing on a level playing field,” he said.

Workers or employers seeking support should visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

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

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $6.082 million back-pay for 5142 underpaid workers across all industries in Queensland last financial year - $796,000 of it through targeted campaign activity.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external icon or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au external icon.

Media inquiries:

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

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Page last updated: 26 Mar 2012