SA, WA and NT cafes, restaurants and takeaway outlets the focus of new education campaign

13 May 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman will check the books of up to 120 cafes, restaurants and takeaway food outlets in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory over the next four months as a part of a new education and compliance campaign.

Fair Work inspectors will audit 50 employers in Adelaide's Gouger and Rundle streets and at North Adelaide, a further 50 in the Perth CBD and Perth's southern suburbs and an additional 20 businesses located in food courts throughout Darwin.

Inspectors will check that workers are being paid their full entitlements, including minimum pay rates and penalty rates.

The audits also aim to ensure that employers are adhering to minimum engagement periods and complying with record-keeping and pay slip obligations.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Bill Loizides says the sector is receiving attention because it consistently provides a high level of complaints and employs a large number of vulnerable workers, including juniors, casuals and foreign workers.

"This campaign is an opportunity for employers in the hospitality industry to ensure they understand their obligations under workplace laws and are complying with them," Mr Loizides said.

The campaign aims to increase awareness of workplace laws, including Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards.

"The Fair Work Ombudsman is committed to making it easier to comply with workplace laws by providing free education, assistance and advice," Mr Loizides said.

"If inspectors find minor or inadvertent contraventions, our preferred approach is to educate the employer and assist them to voluntarily rectify the issue.

"The campaign will also benefit employers who are complying with workplace laws because our auditing of compliance with minimum pay rates will help to ensure businesses are competing on a level playing field."

In 2010, as part of a local Fast Food Campaign, the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $13,400 for 53 South Australian workers.

Employers or employees seeking information and advice should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays.

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.

An 'Industries' section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the 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.

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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