Results of Kalgoorlie-Esperance campaign

7 June 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the findings of a campaign focussing on the entitlements of apprentices, trainees and junior workers at Kalgoorlie and Esperance in regional Western Australia.

Fair Work inspectors randomly audited 103 employers in the metal trade, child care, building and construction and hairdressing industries.

They found 67 businesses (65 per cent) to be compliant with workplace laws.

The remaining 36 (35 per cent) recorded a total of 47 contraventions, primarily technical breaches relating to record-keeping and payslip obligations.

However a number of employee underpayments were also identified and several employers were requested to back-pay 14 staff a total of $18,854.

Six employers remain under investigation.

The campaign included a forum for employers entitled “Engaging Apprentices and Trainees” held at the Goldfields Small Business Centre.

A breakdown of the findings per industry sector is as follows:

Metal Trades

Fair Work inspectors audited 81 employers covered by the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010. They found 55 (68 per cent) to be compliant, with 26 businesses recording a total of 36 contraventions, mostly in relation to record-keeping and payslips. A total of $1505.70 was recouped for three underpaid workers. Inspectors found the majority of employers were paying a flat rate significantly higher than the Award base rate, which in most cases covered other entitlements.

Child Care

Fair Work inspectors audited 15 employers covered by the Children’s Services Award 2010. Six were found to have a number of contraventions, including underpayment of minimum hourly rates and allowances, resulting in $1607 being reimbursed to five employees.

Building & Construction

Fair Work inspectors audited five employers covered by the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 and found four of the five with contraventions. A total of $15,741 was recovered for six employees who were found to have been underpaid.

Hair & Beauty

Fair Work inspectors audited two employers covered by the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 and found both were compliant.

Summary

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says inspectors did not identify any employers they believed were deliberately trying to avoid their workplace obligations.

Mr Wilson says employers with contraventions voluntarily rectified the issues and agreed to put processes in place to ensure the mistakes are not repeated.

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.

PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rate of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the security, retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, vehicle, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

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 e-newsletter with helpful tips and information on employment practices.

A copy of the WA - Kalgoorlie-Esperance Apprentice, Trainee and Juniors Audit Program (Interim Report) is available on the website.

Campaign result:

Media inquiries:

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

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