Fair Work Ombudsman releases results of North-East Victorian regional campaign

6 May 2011

Less than half the employers randomly audited in Wangaratta, Corryong, and Tallangatta were compliant with workplace laws, the Fair Work Ombudsman revealed today.

The audits were prompted by an increase of almost 70 per cent in the number of wage complaints received from employees in the three centres - which jumped from 16 in 2008 to 27 in 2009.

A further 21 complaints were received by the Fair Work Ombudsman from workers in Wangaratta, Corryong and Tallangatta between November, 2009 and November, 2010.

Fair Work inspectors made educational visits to 48 businesses late last year to assist employers understand national workplace laws, including the National Employment Standards and Modern Awards.

Twenty-nine were randomly selected to have their time and wage records audited.

Inspectors found 12 businesses (41 per cent) were compliant, while 17 (59 per cent) recorded contraventions.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says although most of the breaches relate to record-keeping errors, six involved underpayments.

“Five employers were found to have underpaid their employees the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates while another employer was incorrectly calculating employee leave entitlements,” he said.

“As a result of the campaign, Fair Work inspectors recovered more than $12,200 in underpaid wages for 10 employees.

“All of the businesses have now put processes in place to ensure these mistakes are not repeated.”

Mr Campbell says a follow-up campaign may be of benefit to the local business community and will be considered.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and user-friendly resources on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au to assist employees and employers.

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

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

Media inquiries:

Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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