Almost half of inner Adelaide businesses fail the basics in workplace compliance checks

6 June 2018

Audits of 125 businesses across the Adelaide CBD and surrounding suburbs have found 45 per cent to be non-compliant with workplace laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has today released the findings of its compliance and education campaign targeting businesses in the Adelaide CBD, North Adelaide, Norwood, Kent Town and Brompton.

Checks of businesses’ time and wage records found that 36 (29 per cent) of audited businesses were not paying their employees correctly, while 29 (23 per cent) had breached their record keeping and payslip requirements.

As a result of the audits, $54,701 in wages and entitlements was recovered for 113 workers.

Inspectors issued seven formal cautions, six infringement notices (on-the-spot fines) and three compliance notices to non-compliant businesses.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the checks were prompted by comparatively high numbers of requests for assistance from the area in the years preceding the campaign, with numbers of requests from Adelaide, Norwood and Brompton amongst the highest in the state.

“As well as identifying instances of non-compliance, our campaign activities provide an opportunity to deliver targeted education to employers and employees about their workplace rights and obligations and equip them with the tools and information they need to ensure they are complying with the law,” Ms James says.

“The findings in this campaign reinforce the reason why we recently commenced the National Workplace Basics Campaign, as there are still too many employers simply not getting the basics right when it comes to ‘bread and butter’ issues such as pay rates, classifications and record keeping.”

In one matter, a restaurant in an Adelaide CBD dining precinct was issued with two infringement notices for failing to meet record-keeping and payslip requirements, including not issuing pay slips to its workers.

The employer was provided with extensive guidance on record-keeping requirements and advised to expect a follow up audit by the FWO.

“Keeping correct employment records and providing payslips are basic workplace obligations that every employer should be aware of,” Ms James says.

“With penalties for record-keeping breaches recently increasing, it is imperative that businesses ensure they are meeting these obligations or risk hefty fines.

“I urge businesses to ensure they are up-to-date on their obligations and avail themselves of the wide range of free resources available from the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure they are complying with workplace laws.

“We will be following up with businesses found to be non-compliant to ensure that they have rectified their issues and are doing the right thing going forward. We will not hesitate to take enforcement action where we find serious or deliberate breaches of workplace laws.”

The Adelaide CBD and Inner Metro campaign report follows the release earlier this year of the findings of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s campaign in the Barossa and Two Wells/Gawler regions of South Australia, which found 50 per cent of audited businesses to be non-compliant with workplace laws.

In April the Fair Work Ombudsman launched its Workplace Basics campaign which will see inspectors audit 1,000 businesses across Australia and assist them to access and navigate the range of free workplace resources available to help them meet their obligations.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Information on the website can be translated into 40 languages.

Small businesses can opt for priority service via the Infoline or visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Small Business Showcase, a hub for online resources to assist small businesses.

Employers and employees can also sign up to remain informed and receive tailored information by registering for a free Fair Work Ombudsman My Account.

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 External link icon.

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Read the Adelaide CBD and Inner Metro Campaign Report 

Media inquiries:

Yasmin Daymond, Assistant Director - Media
Mobile: 0421 630 460