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Intelligence-led campaigns

We rely on intelligence gathered from stakeholders, internal operational data, public reports of non-compliance (for example, media stories) and the anonymous reports we receive from the Australian community to determine the industry and regions to target in our campaigns.

We proactively audited over 4500 workplaces in 2017-18, using intelligence-led targeted campaigns to examine specific industries, regions and businesses across Australia.

These campaigns allow us to verify our intelligence, better understand the cultural drivers at play and develop strategies to bring about sustained behavioural change. We are always refining and improving upon our methodology in deciding where to focus our campaign efforts to ensure maximum impact and value to the community.

Of the campaign audits we conducted (where business size was captured), 86% involved small businesses1. Our intelligence indicates that, due to their comparable lack of resources, small businesses have more difficulty understanding and complying with workplace laws. In 2017-18, 46% of small businesses we audited as part of our campaigns were non-compliant2, compared to 36% of larger businesses. Of all formal disputes we finalised, 63% involve small business.

Our campaign work provides important opportunities to assist non-compliant businesses to become compliant through targeted education, information and advice.

Of the workplace audits conducted as part of our campaigns, we found an overall compliance rate of 54%, with the top contraventions relating to hourly rate underpayments (39%), failure to provide pay slips in their prescribed form (25%) and penalty rates for weekend work (11%).

Our largest campaign for the year, the Workplace Basics campaign, focuses specifically on educating employers about the most common non-compliance issues such as pay, penalty rates, and record-keeping and pay slip requirements. The campaign seeks to broaden the awareness and understanding of these issues across all industries, with an education phase that provided employers with tailored resources designed to help them get the 'basics' right. The campaign is ongoing: we are currently in the audit phase, which involves contacting and checking 1000 businesses Australia-wide.

We also audited the hospitality industry in targeted, region-based campaigns. For more information on these campaigns, see Hospitality.

Our campaign audits for 2017–18 resulted in over $2 363 000 in recoveries.


  1. Defined as having fewer than 15 employees.
  2. A business is classified as non-compliant when we have identified at least one issue with their workplace obligations, for example, incorrect record-keeping or underpayments.