Strong pass rate for South-West and Great Southern employers

20 October 2010

More than 80 per cent of employers in WA’s South-West and Great Southern regions are complying with federal workplace laws, a Fair Work Ombudsman campaign has found.

Fair Work inspectors targeted employers across a range of industries as part of an education and compliance campaign.

After scrutinising the employment records of 128 employers, inspectors found that 106, or 83 per cent, were compliant.

Of the 22 with contraventions, about half were record-keeping and/or pay slip breaches and the remainder were employers who had underpaid 120 of their employees a total of $67,237.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the employees were underpaid minimum hourly rates, penalty rates and allowances.

“Inspectors found the underpayments were largely the result of employers failing to round start and finish times correctly when using electronic time cards and payments based on rosters rather than hours actually worked,” he said.

Five of 28 Albany employers recorded contraventions and four of 27 Bunbury employers were found to have breaches.

A breakdown of the underpayments is as follows:

  • Four Albany employers underpaid 39 employees $24,137,
  • Two Australind employers underpaid 39 employees $13,622, 
  • Two Bunbury employers underpaid two employees $10,218,
  • One Manjimup employer underpaid five employees $7180,
  • One Bremer Bay employer underpaid four employees $5366, and
  • One Picton employer underpaid five employees $5355.

Mr Campbell says it is pleasing that all employers co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily reimbursed their staff.

“Inspectors assisted employers to put processes in place to ensure these breaches are not repeated in future,” he said.

“It is important that both employers and employees in regional areas are aware they can turn to the Fair Work Ombudsman for advice and assistance.”

Mr Campbell says the Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au.

Resources for small business include some new industry specific webpages with information tailored to particular sectors, 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 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:

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

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