2017 media releases

Melbourne manufacturing company commits to change after underpaying steelworkers $100K
31 Oct 2017
Seven Melbourne workers will be repaid more than $100,000 after the Fair Work Ombudsman executed an enforceable undertaking with an Altona-based manufacturing company.
$306,000 penalty for Perth cleaning operators who underpaid overseas workers
30 Oct 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured near-record WA penalties of $306,000 against a cleaning company that failed to pay a number of young overseas workers anything for work at a Perth hotel.
Fair Work Ombudsman’s 2016/17 Annual Report now available
24 Oct 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s annual report for the 2016/17 financial year has been tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament.
Fair Work Ombudsman continues to set the bar for gender equity in briefing practices
24 Oct 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has allocated more than half of its legal work to female barristers for the fourth year in a row, continuing to set an example as a best practice employer in equitable briefing practices.
$70,000 in penalties after overseas workers’ vulnerability deliberately exploited
23 Oct 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured more than $70,000 in penalties against the former operators of a hair products retailing business for ignoring prior warnings and deliberately exploiting vulnerable overseas workers in Melbourne.
$284,000 in penalties after “heinous” conduct at Gold Coast restaurant
19 Oct 2017
The operators of a Gold Coast restaurant have been penalised more than $284,000 and criticised by a Judge for their “heinous” conduct after paying overseas workers as little as $8 an hour and using false records to try to cover it up.
Businesses urged to avoid increased penalties for record-keeping breaches
18 Oct 2017
Maximum penalties for businesses that breach record-keeping laws have recently doubled and the Fair Work Ombudsman is helping operators reduce their risk of being exposed to big fines with the release of a new online training course.
7-Eleven franchisee in court after allegedly dismissing worker who refused cash-back
18 Oct 2017
A 7-Eleven Franchisee in Brisbane is facing court for allegedly dismissing a worker by removing him from the roster after he refused his employer’s request to repay an amount he had been paid.
Young workers, visa holders back-paid more than $70,000 by Brisbane businesses
13 Oct 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has assisted 22 workers employed by businesses in Brisbane to recover $73,279 in unpaid wages and entitlements.
Fair Work Ombudsman compliance partnership with Woolworths a new benchmark in supply chain governance
11 Oct 2017
A new standard in labour supply chain governance has been set with the signing of a Proactive Compliance Deed between Woolworths Ltd and the Fair Work Ombudsman, covering the supermarket giant’s procurement of trolley collection services.
Fair Work Ombudsman discusses new laws with franchising sector
9 Oct 2017
With less than three weeks until new laws making some franchises and holding companies liable for underpayment of workers take effect, the Fair Work Ombudsman has cautioned the industry against being complacent.
Great Ocean Road workers back-paid $64,000
5 Oct 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $64,334 for 36 workers employed at various locations along the Great Ocean Road and Otway region of Victoria.
Goulburn Valley workers back-paid more than $34,000
4 Oct 2017
Twenty three workers in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley region have been back-paid more than $34,000 in wages and entitlements after seeking assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Young Lake Macquarie labourer back-paid $25,000
28 Sep 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has assisted three workers employed by businesses in the Newcastle/Hunter region of NSW to recover $38,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements.
New strategy to raise international students’ awareness of workplace rights
25 Sep 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman is reaching out to international students to encourage them to seek free help from the agency if they experience any issues while working in Australia.
New Fair Work laws commence today
15 Sep 2017
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has welcomed new laws protecting vulnerable workers coming into effect today.
Backpackers snap-up back-pay from far north Queensland croc farm
13 Sep 2017
Two overseas backpackers who were paid low, flat rates while working at a crocodile farm in far north Queensland have been back-paid more than $13,000, following an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Better protection for workers as new Fair Work law passes Parliament
6 Sep 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has welcomed the passing of new laws that will significantly enhance its capacity to take action in cases of exploitation of vulnerable workers.
Perth curry house operator faces Court over alleged unlawful cash-back exploitation
6 Sep 2017
A former Perth restaurant operator is facing Court for allegedly requiring a Bangladeshi worker to repay thousands of dollars of his wages - and then dismissing him because he lodged a workers’ compensation claim after injuring his back at work.
Maximum penalty and CDPP referral for labour-hire operator’s “appalling” treatment of visa holder
4 Sep 2017
A Melbourne labour-hire operator who paid an apprentice overseas mechanic nothing for almost three months work has been hit with maximum penalties and referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Renewed pact reaffirms joint commitment to improving workplace compliance
1 Sep 2017
Joint efforts by the Fair Work Ombudsman and Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to improve compliance with federal workplace laws relating to apprentices and trainees will continue under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Dodgy labour practices in Lockyer Valley targeted in multi-agency operation
31 Aug 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has joined forces with Queensland Workplace Health and Safety and the Queensland police to lead a multi-agency compliance operation targeting worker exploitation in the Lockyer Valley.
$37,000 pay day for Melbourne workers
30 Aug 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has assisted two workers in suburbs north of Melbourne to recover more than $37,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements after they contacted the agency for assistance.
Melbourne entertainment hot spots targeted in Fair Work blitz
24 Aug 2017
More than 50 restaurants, bars and cafes in some of Melbourne’s most popular entertainment precincts have received surprise visits from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Franchisee from popular Perth restaurant chain faces Court
24 Aug 2017
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced another legal action relating to a franchisee of the Han’s Café chain in Perth, alleging staff at an outlet in the city’s south-east were underpaid more than $67,000.

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