New workplace pact aims to improve compliance
South Australia’s Department of State Development is joining forces with the Fair Work Ombudsman to help improve compliance with federal workplace laws relating to apprentices and trainees.
It has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
This follows a similar MoU the Fair Work Ombudsman has signed with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
MoUs are also in place with a number of industry bodies, including the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA), the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), Restaurant and Catering Association (RCA) and the Australian Security Industry Association Ltd (ASIAL) – as well as the National Union of Workers (NUW).
Deputy Fair Work Ombudsman (Operations) Michael Campbell co-signed the latest MoU with John King, the Executive Director, Skills and Employment, in the South Australian Department of State Development.
Mr Campbell welcomed the SA Department of State Development’s commitment to collaboration and exchange of information, saying it is pleasing to see the two parties work together to promote and achieve workplace compliance for vulnerable employees.
“This MoU highlights SA’s commitment to making compliance with workplace laws a high priority across a sector for which we both have regulatory responsibility,” Mr Campbell said.
Representatives of both agencies will meet formally at least twice a year to share information and discuss strategic and operational issues concerning the employment of apprentices and trainees. There are more than 300,000 apprentices and trainees working across Australia.
Mr Campbell said the Fair Work Ombudsman had recently completed an Australia-wide proactive educational and compliance campaign focussed on businesses that engage apprentices.
“More than 800 businesses were audited with one in three found to be failing to pay their apprentices correctly, we are pleased that the Department of State Development has agreed to exchange information with us in order to assist in improving compliance rates in this sector,” Mr Campbell said.
Mr King said apprentices and trainees form a significant proportion of the workforce and it’s important they receive support to complete their apprenticeship or traineeship.
“The most commonly cited reasons for not completing an apprenticeship or traineeship are employment related, and we are working to address this through the MoU with the Fair Work Ombudsman,” Mr King said.
The Fair Work Ombudsman website at www.fairwork.gov.au has information to assist employers and tools and resources for those who want to broaden their workplace knowledge, update their skills and discover new and more productive ways of working.
For information about the rights and responsibilities of employers, apprentices and trainees in South Australia visit www.skills.sa.gov.au.
Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.
Download the Regulation and Contract Management, South Australian Department of State Development MoU
Mark Lee, Director of Media,
Mobile: 0408 547 381