91 per cent pass rate for Geraldton employers

16 July 2010

More than 90 per cent of employers randomly audited in Geraldton, WA, are complying with federal workplace laws, the Fair Work Ombudsman revealed today.

A team of Fair Work inspectors door-knocked 129 businesses over three days in March to check that employers were meeting their record-keeping and payslip obligations.

The targeted campaign followed a string of complaints from workers at Geraldton.

However, 118 (91 per cent) of 129 employers scrutinised by inspectors were found to be compliant. Eleven (9 per cent) recorded payslip contraventions.

Fair Work Ombudsman Western Australian Director Leigh Quealy says his office wrote to more than 800 Geraldton employers two weeks before the campaign alerting them to the field visits.

Mr Quealy says media coverage ahead of the visits by the Geraldton Guardian and ABC Radio also assisted inspectors gain the co-operation of employers.

He says the high compliance rate is pleasing and inspectors have assisted those businesses with record-keeping breaches to put processes in place to ensure they do not occur again.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is conducting a separate time-and-wage audit of one business suspected of underpaying its employees the minimum hourly rate of pay and checking another that intended to terminate its employees to ensure it follows correct procedures.

Mr Quealy says it is important the Fair Work Ombudsman conducts localised, targeted campaigns to increase community awareness of workplace rights and obligations.

“It is important that in regional areas, small to medium employers in particular, are aware that we are here to help both in terms of providing information and practical tools and resources on our website, as well as responding to questions to our Fair Work Infoline,” he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website - www.fwo.gov.au - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay, including Paycheck and Payroll Check.

There are also templates for time-and-wages sheets, payslips and other types of employment records.

Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation with step-by-step instructions or accessing a series of Best Practice Guides.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50.

See full report: Geraldton Record-keeping and Pay Slip Campaign Final Report (PDF 124.6KB)

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146

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