Results of Queensland’s Ekka campaign

26 July 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the findings of a campaign focussing on the entitlements of casuals who worked at last year’s Queensland Ekka.

The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) holds the exhibition each year in Brisbane.

Fair Work inspectors visited Ekka over two days last August to assess the level of compliance by stallholders.

They checked base rates of pay, overtime, penalty rates, allowances and compliance with time and wage record-keeping obligations.

The Fair Work Ombudsman decided to visit Ekka after an analysis of complaints received from workers in Queensland between 2008 and 2010.

There was a high contravention rate in relation to the base rate of pay and other entitlements of musicians, entertainers, performers and creative artists.

And a campaign conducted at the Royal Adelaide Show in South Australia in 2010 had revealed that 53 per cent of 188 stall holders were non-compliant.

After deciding to visit Ekka, the Fair Work Ombudsman checked the records of 59 stallholders. Two investigations remain ongoing.

Of the 57 audits completed, 49 (86 per cent) were found to be compliant, while eight (14 per cent) recorded a number of contraventions.

Six stallholders were found to be underpaying their workers and were asked to reimburse 95 employees a total of $11,094, an average of $116 each.

Stallholders had underpaid base wages and casual loadings after incorrectly misclassifying employees as part-time instead of casual.

In the absence of a specific written agreement outlining a regular work pattern and hours of work, the Travelling Shows Award 2010 deems employees to be casual.

Employers or employees seeking information and advice should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheckPlus and an Award Finder, to assist business owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Employers can also sign up to a regular eNewsletter with helpful tips and information on employment practices.

Media inquiries:

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

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