$94k back-paid to hair and beauty workers in SA
12 August 2013
The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered more than $94,000 for workers in South
Australia as part of a national campaign focusing on hair and beauty salons.
Of the 148 audits completed across South Australia, Fair Work Inspectors
found 61 employers (41 per cent) were compliant with workplace laws, while 87
(59 per cent) were in breach.
Of those in breach, 58 businesses were found to have underpaid 125 employees
a total of $94,663, while others had record-keeping and technical
Businesses found to have underpaid staff were at locations including
Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie
Nationally, Fair Work Inspectors completed audits of 858 randomly selected
hair and beauty salons as part of the campaign and found 384 (45 per cent) were
meeting their obligations under workplace laws, while 474 (55 per cent) were in
Of those in breach, 295 businesses were found to have underpaid 635 employees
a total of $369,770, while many others had only record-keeping and technical
Underpayments at individual salons nationally ranged from less than $10 up to
the biggest underpayment of $16,064 of six employees at a
Queensland had the highest compliance rate of 58 per cent, followed by NT (55
per cent), NSW (48 per cent), SA (41 per cent), Tasmania (40 per cent), WA (36
per cent), Victoria (25 per cent) and ACT (21 per cent).
Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said Fair Work Inspectors assisted all
employers to voluntarily rectify non-compliance issues and put processes in
place to ensure they were not repeated.
"While the overall contravention rate was concerning, it is pleasing that all
employers were willing to back-pay their staff without the need for further
action," Ms James said.
The campaign focussed on hair, nail and beauty salons in metropolitan and
regional areas, including many independently owned and operated salons.
Ms James said the campaign was prompted by the sector consistently generating
a significant number of complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman each year.
"The campaign aimed to ensure workers were receiving their full entitlements
and to make sure employers in the industry were aware of their obligations under
workplace laws," she said.
"We are conscious that the hair and beauty industry employs a significant
number of young workers who can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of
their rights or are reluctant to complain, so it is important we are proactive
about ensuring they are being paid correctly."
Ms James said it was disappointing that the compliance rate discovered during
the campaign was lower than the 62 per cent compliance rate found during a
national campaign in 2009 focusing on the hair and beauty industry.
"We were also disappointed that some employers are still not aware of the
need to pay their employees for compulsory in-house and external training, when
it is not part of vocational training.
"We worked closely with key industry bodies as part of the campaign to ensure
they were provided with important information to promote compliance with
workplace laws amongst their members."
As part of the campaign, the Fair Work Ombudsman
wrote to more than 17,000 hair and beauty businesses nationally to highlight the
free, tailored resources at www.fairwork.gov.au/hairandbeauty
to help them to understand and comply with workplace laws as easily as
The resources include templates for time-and-wages sheets and pay slips, the
PayCheck Plus tool to help employers calculate the correct pay for staff, an
educational webinar and links to information on workplace laws relating to
apprentices and trainees.
As part of the campaign, the Fair Work Ombudsman also distributed 60,000
educational postcards aimed at young hair and beauty industry workers through
cafes, bars, tertiary institutes and other venues nationally.
Ms James said the Fair Work Ombudsman would continue to focus educational and
compliance activities on the hair and beauty industry, including working with
key employer organisations to improve business operators’ awareness of workplace
Employers and workers seeking advice or assistance
should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline
on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available on 13
Download the report:
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Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder
0457 924 146
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