Record-keeping, compliance checks underway

7 July 2014

The Fair Work Ombudsman will visit businesses in Stanley, Smithton, Wynyard and Somerset (Tasmania) this week as part of a national campaign to remind employers of the importance of maintaining proper employment records.

Fair Work inspectors have already visited employers in Burnie, Devonport and Ulverstone and handed out education packs with information about the free tools and resources available from the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist them.

Inspectors continue to see employers failing to keep correct records or issuing pay slips that contain the required information and are now visiting up to 350 employers in most States.

The face-to-face visits are aimed at educating employers about their responsibilities and how the Fair Work Ombudsman can assist them to comply with workplace laws.

Inadequate records hamper the ability of Fair Work inspectors to determine if employees are being paid correctly if a dispute arises over wages.

In the past, the Agency has taken legal action against some employers who did not keep proper records and who were suspected of underpaying their staff.

Meanwhile, Fair Work inspectors have just concluded discussions with dozens of Tasmanian businesses where contraventions with workplace laws were identified in 2012-13.

The follow-up phone calls were aimed at ensuring the businesses, which had previously been found to have underpaid staff or made mistakes with pay-slips and record-keeping, are now meeting their obligations.

A report on the findings of a second round of auditing will be made available later this year.

From July 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014, the agency received 505 requests for assistance from Tasmanian employees and recovered almost $216,000 in underpaid wages and entitlements for 169 workers.

Tasmanians generated 8500 phone calls to the Fair Work Infoline and 100,000 visits to the Fair Work Ombudsman website during the same period.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has offices in Hobart and Launceston.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the Agency is making compliance easier for businesses by continually building on the information available on its website.

“Small businesses often don’t have the benefit of in-house human resources and payroll staff, so we place a high priority on assisting them,” she said.

“Equipping people with the information they need helps to create fair and productive workplaces, as well as ensuring a level playing field for all.”

Employers can access information, including fact sheets and templates, at www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

A free interpreter service is also available on 13 14 50.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au or find us on Facebook.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0457 924 146
penelope.rowe@fwo.gov.au

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