Murray River motels campaign results released

28 October 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the results of its random audits of motels along the Murray River in Victoria.

Fair Work inspectors targeted motels along the river from Wodonga to Mildura as part of an education and compliance campaign.

Moteliers received educative materials about national workplace laws, including Modern Awards and National Employment Standards.

Inspectors also audited the books of 14 motels and found nine (64 per cent) with contraventions.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says four businesses had record-keeping and payslip breaches.

Another five had underpaid 10 of their employees the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates, resulting in back-payments totalling $4124.

A breakdown is as follows:

  • A Yarrawonga motel underpaid four employees $2090
  • A Swan Hill motel underpaid two employees $1130
  • A Rutherglen motel underpaid one employee $446
  • A Cobram motel underpaid two employees $268, and
  • A Wodonga motel underpaid one employee $190.

Mr Campbell said the rate of non-compliance from a small selection of motels was a concern, but was pleased that all had co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily rectified the underpayments.

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

Mr Campbell says the campaign has helped improve awareness of workplace laws within the accommodation sector of the hospitality industry.

“The hospitality industry employs a large number of people in Australia and is an important industry for us in terms of our work,” he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman audited 685 businesses during a National Hospitality Campaign in 2008 and recovered $1.6 million for more than 5200 workers who had been underpaid.  

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

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

Media inquiries:

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

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