1200 businesses face further monitoring

6 March 2015

About 1200 businesses found to have underpaid their workers over the past three years will be reviewed again as the Fair Work Ombudsman strives to promote a culture of compliance with workplace laws.

Employers who have previously short-changed their staff $500 or more will be audited this year to ensure they have not ignored advice and assistance given to them by Fair Work inspectors in response to their past contraventions.

“We obviously frown on those who refuse to fix problems or continually flout their workplace obligations so they have a competitive advantage over others doing the right thing,” Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said today.

Ms James says employers who have previously received help to understand and comply with their responsibilities are likely to face enforcement action if they are again found to be in breach of workplace laws.

Depending on the seriousness of ongoing breaches, employers face a range of measures from Letters of Caution and Infringement Notices (on-the-spot-fines) through to Compliance Notices, Enforceable Undertakings and potential legal action.

Maximum penalties for contraventions of workplace laws are $51,000 per breach for a company and $10,200 for an individual.

Employers in metropolitan, suburban, regional and rural areas will be included in the National Compliance Monitoring Campaign.

Ms James says the campaign aims to assess the level of behavioural change among employers to assist the Agency understand the drivers of non-compliance and to help inform future pro-active compliance and education activities.

Employers are encouraged to access and apply information from the range of free tools and resources available on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website at www.fairwork.gov.au. 

“It prioritises the most common and fundamental information people look for. Where possible, it also tailors information for the user and provides specific answers that they can act on,” Ms James says.

Online tools include calculators to determine the correct wages for employees, templates for time-and-wages records, an online learning centre and My Account, which enables employers and employees to save tailored information on pay and conditions for their workplace.

Those seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is also available by calling 13 14 50.

Small business employers calling the Fair Work Infoline can opt to receive priority service via the Small Business Helpline.

Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO external-icon.png, the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au External link icon or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au External link icon.

Media inquiries:

Nicci de Ryk, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0466 522 004