Qld real estate industry focus of new campaign

25 March 2011

The real estate industry in Queensland is the focus of a new education and compliance campaign by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work inspectors will audit 125 employers to ensure they have lodged written agreements for their staff with the Queensland Property Industry Registry (QPIR).

It is a requirement under the Real Estate Industry Award 2010 for employers to lodge written agreements with the QPIR for all staff classified as property/strata management or property sales employees.

The agreements must state how the employees will be paid - that is, commission-only, part-commission or as per the rates listed in the Modern Award.

The campaign will focus on real estate agents, business and hotel brokers, strata and community title management businesses, stock and station agents, buyer’s agencies and real estate valuation agents.

Employers will be selected at random and inspectors will be sensitive to the special needs of businesses suffering as a result of recent extreme weather events.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the real estate industry is receiving attention because it often generates complaints and employs a significant number of workers.

Fair Work inspectors will audit employers throughout Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast and in regional areas including Cairns, Tully, Port Douglas, Mount Isa, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Gympie, Gatton, Toowoomba, Stanthorpe and Goondiwindi.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says written agreements for employees to be paid using a commission structure are valid only if they have been lodged with the QPIR.

“If employers fail to lodge agreements with the QPIR for any employees, they must pay the employees the rates listed in the Modern Award,” he said.

“In cases where inspectors identify agreements have not been lodged, they will assist the employer to understand its obligations and ask that they voluntarily rectify any underpayment of employee entitlements.”  

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

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

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