Spot checks for 250 Far North Queensland businesses
30 October 2015
The Fair Work Ombudsman will audit up to 250 businesses in Cairns, Innisfail and the Cassowary Coast over the next three months as part of a new campaign.
Fair Work inspectors will check that employers are paying the correct minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, allowances, loadings and providing appropriate meal breaks.
Compliance with record-keeping and pay slip obligations will also be monitored.
The campaign will focus on businesses located in and around Cairns, Bungalow, Portsmith, Manunda, Innisfail, Mission Beach, Tully and Cardwell.
Businesses in a range of industries will be assessed, including cafes and restaurants, superannuation funds and fast food services in the Cairns region.
Fruit, tree nut and sugar cane farming and fishing will be among the industries focused on in the Innisfail and Cassowary Coast region.
All businesses will be randomly selected.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the region is home to thousands of businesses and is a persistent source of requests for assistance from workers.
Ms James says one of the aims of the campaign is to ensure employers are aware of their workplace responsibilities and how the Fair Work Ombudsman can assist them to access, understand and apply information to build a culture of compliance.
“It’s important we check that workers are being paid correctly, but we also want to be pro-active about ensuring employers understand their obligations,” she said.
“Inspectors will contact dozens of businesses during the campaign so they can offer employers tailored assistance to rectify any non-compliance issues and put processes in place to ensure they get it right in the future.”
Key local employer groups have been enlisted to assist the Agency to promote the campaign.
Inspectors will inform employers about the range of free tools and resources available to them on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website at www.fairwork.gov.au.
Resources available include templates for time-and-wages records and a Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) that provides advice about pay, shift, leave and redundancy entitlements.
Employers and employees seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.
Small business can opt to be put through to a small business helpline, which has now assisted more than 250,000 callers since it was established.
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Ryan Pedler, Assistant Media Director
Mobile: 0411 430 902