Second round of security audits reveals big lift in compliance levels

23 May 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman has welcomed a significant increase in compliance within Australia’s security industry.

A second round of national audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman has revealed much higher compliance with workplace law.

The security industry's level of compliance has risen from just 47 per cent in 2009 to 75 per cent in 2011.

"That is a fantastic improvement," Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said today when releasing the results of a second targeted education and compliance campaign.

"This follow-up action indicates that our pro-active auditing work is achieving the desired outcomes," he said.

After identifying a low-level of compliance in 2009, the Fair Work Ombudsman called for leadership from the security industry to help drive behavioural change.

To assist the industry, the Fair Work Ombudsman provided funding to the Australian Security Industry Association in 2010 under its $2.5 million Shared Industry Assistance Program to assist employers better understand their workplace obligations.

The Association produced a guide for employers with information on the National Employment Standards, classifications, hours of work, breaks, shift work penalties, overtime, employment status, employee records and payslips and rates of pay.

The Association also ran seminars in Hobart, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Canberra for almost 300 participants.

A Fair Work Ombudsman targeted campaign in 2009 recouped $1.125 million back-pay for 1156 security staff nationally who had been underpaid.

Last year, Fair Work inspectors audited a further 392 security companies and found 295 (75 per cent) were compliant.

Of the contraventions identified, 36 per cent related to underpayment of wages and a total of $427,000 in back-pay was recouped for 658 employees. Forty two employers remain under investigation.

While commending the lift in compliance, Mr Wilson suggested the results still indicated a need for ongoing education and intervention in the security industry.

"Businesses are reporting pressure to quote for tenders at rates that are below minimum entitlements," he said.

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

Campaign result: Final National Security Industry Follow-Up Campaign Report (PDF 2MB)

Media inquiries:

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

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