SA fast food industry campaign results

7 April 2011

Almost 70 percent of fast food outlets randomly audited in South Australia are compliant with federal workplace laws, a Fair Work Ombudsman campaign has revealed.

Fair Work inspectors checked the books of 87 fast food outlets in Adelaide, Mount Barker, Murray Bridge, Nuriootpa, Port Augusta, Goolwa and Victor Harbor.

They found 60 businesses (69 per cent) were compliant, while 27 (31 per cent) were found to have contraventions.

Eleven fast food outlets in Croydon, Dernancourt, Edwardstown, Fulham, Gawler, Port Adelaide and West Beach were found to have underpaid a total of 53 staff almost $13,400.

All businesses co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily reimbursed all employees their outstanding entitlements without the need for further action against them.

Other contraventions identified by inspectors related mainly to payslips and record-keeping.

Fast food outlets were targeted for attention because of the large number of vulnerable workers they employ, including young people and migrant workers.

Key stakeholders were advised ahead of the audits, including the National Retailers Association, Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association, Business SA and master franchisors of popular fast food franchises.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the campaign identified a number of employers who were failing to increase pay rates for junior employees on their birthday.

"In a number of instances, employers had not registered trainee contracts with Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services," he said.

"Our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntary rectify any non-compliance issues.

"However, employers need to regularly review their Award or agreement to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations to their workers."

Mr Campbell says a follow-up campaign is being considered to further assist businesses in the fast food industry to understand and comply with federal workplace laws.

In the meantime, the Fair Work Ombudsman has provided a ‘fast food’ page on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au to provide employers with industry-specific resources such as templates and fact sheets on topics including annual leave, public holidays, apprenticeships, traineeships and rosters.

Employers or employees seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Info line on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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