High marks for Townsville employers
1 October 2014
More than three-quarters of Townsville businesses are complying with their record-keeping and pay-slip obligations under federal workplace laws, random checks by the Fair Work Ombudsman have revealed.
Fair Work inspectors made face-to-face visits to 166 local employers as part of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining proper employment records.
The Fair Work Ombudsman continues to see employers failing to keep adequate records and issuing pay-slips that do not contain the required information.
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 adequate records and who were suspected of underpaying their staff.
The Fair Work Ombudsman liaised with the Townsville Chamber of Commerce before commencing site visits in November last year.
Auditing has now concluded and the results of the campaign were released in Townsville today by Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.
Eighty-eight per cent of employers (146) were found to be compliant with their pay-slip obligations and 86 per cent (142) were meeting their record-keeping responsibilities.
Most of the issues identified related to employers failing to keep records for all hours worked by their employees or failing to issue employees with sufficiently-detailed pay- slips within one working day of pay day.
Ten per cent of employers (17) had not been providing a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement to new employees.
Ms James welcomed the high compliance rates, but stressed the importance of businesses paying greater attention to their obligations under workplace laws.
Fair Work inspectors spoke to Townsville employers about the free resources available at www.fairwork.gov.au to assist them to understand and comply with their responsibilities.
“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,” Ms James 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.”
Online resources include templates for time-and-wages records and pay slips, fact sheets and tools for determining correct rates of pay for employees, such as PayCheck Plus.
Ms James says it was particularly pleasing to see that Townsville employers who had made mistakes promptly rectify their errors and put processes in place to ensure future compliance.Any employer or employee seeking advice can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. Small Business owners calling the Infoline can opt to be put through to the Small Business Helpline to receive priority service.
Tom McPherson, Media Adviser
Mobile: 0439 835 855