Fair Work Ombudsman to look at Queensland traffic control industry

11 October 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman has written to more than 80 employers in Queensland’s traffic control industry as part of a new campaign.

Key stakeholders, including employer groups and unions, have also been briefed on the campaign.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the campaign aims to increase awareness of workplace laws, including Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards.

“This campaign is an ideal opportunity for employers in the traffic control industry to ensure they understand their obligations under workplace laws and are complying with them,” he said.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman is committed to providing free education, assistance and advice to make it easier for employers to comply with workplace laws.”

Mr Campbell says as part of the campaign Fair Work inspectors will randomly select 57 traffic control industry employers for audit over the next two months.

The focus will be on employers in Hervey Bay, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns, Caboolture, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Sunshine Coast regions.

The audits will aim to ensure employers are paying workers in-line with minimum wage and penalty rates, are not engaging in sham contracting and are complying with their record-keeping and pay slip obligations.

Mr Campbell says the campaign follows a Queensland state department investigation raising concerns about potential non-compliance issues. 

“It is important we conduct this campaign to ensure the workers in this industry are being paid their full entitlements,” he said.

“Enforcing compliance with legislated pay rates also benefits employers by ensuring there is a level playing field in the industry and employers who pay workers correctly are not place at a competitive disadvantage.”

Mr Campbell says operators targeted for audit will include employers of traffic control workers at construction sites, road maintenance areas and big events.

“If inspectors find minor or inadvertent contraventions, the preferred approach is to educate the employer and assist them to voluntarily rectify the issue,” he said.

“Obviously in cases where a contravention is blatant or employers are not willing to promptly resolve an issue, we may escalate the audit to a full investigation.”

Mr Campbell says the Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources on its website to assist employers to comply with workplace laws and operate their workplace at best practice.

Resources for small business on www.fairwork.gov.au include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist, template letters and fact sheets on dozens of topics including leave, industrial action, public holidays, enterprise bargaining, gender pay equality and family-friendly workplaces.

As well as Online resources, the Fair Work Ombudsman has more than 200 highly-skilled advisers available to speak with employers and workers with questions on its Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am - 6pm weekdays.

The Fair Work Ombudsman also has Best Practice Guides which have been developed to assist employers make better use of the provisions of the Fair Work Act and better understand other aspects of workplace laws.

Mr Campbell says the guides cover work and family, consultation and co-operation, individual flexibility arrangements, employing young workers, gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance, effective dispute resolution and improving workplace productivity.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
craig.bildstien@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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