Pass rate for two-thirds of SA’s Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wineries & vineyards

28 March 2011

Almost two-thirds of employers in South Australia’s Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions are complying with workplace laws, a Fair Work Ombudsman auditing campaign has found.

Fair Work inspectors visited 62 wineries and vineyards in the regions last November to scrutinise their record-keeping and pay slip practices.

Inspectors found 40 businesses (65 per cent) were compliant, while 22 (35 per cent) had contraventions - 14 in McLaren Vale and eight in the Barossa.

Although auditing of pay rates was not a focus of the campaign, inspectors also discovered underpayment of weekend penalty rates at one McLaren Vale winery and recovered $15,901 for 10 employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that while the results show there is room for improvement, it is pleasing that most employers in the regions are compliant with workplace laws.

“It was encouraging that all employers accepted our help to voluntarily rectify their non-compliance issues and no further action against any business was required,” he said.

“Inspectors provided businesses with tools such as templates for time-and-wages records and pay slips to help them ensure ongoing compliance.”

Mr Campbell says the rate of compliance was similar to that found in a campaign focused on WA’s South-West and Great Southern wine regions in 2009.

Resources for employers at www.fairwork.gov.au include pay slip and record-keeping templates, an ‘Award Finder’ search tool that enables employers to find the Modern Award that applies to their business and a ‘How To Guide’ on the process for transitioning from Pre-Modern Awards to Modern Awards.

The website also contains a self-audit checklist, template letters and fact sheets on topics including leave, public holidays, and family-friendly workplaces.

The ‘Industries’ section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the hair and beauty, hospitality, clerical, retail, cleaning, fast food, security and horticulture industries.

Employers or employees seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. 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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