A third of Tasmanian south and east coast businesses put on notice

28 March 2018

The Fair Work Ombudsman has today released the results of its proactive education and compliance campaign targeting Tasmania’s south and east coasts, finding 31 per cent of audited businesses to be non-compliant with workplace laws.

The campaign was initiated due to employment growth in a range of sectors across the region, including sectors that employ a high proportion of young workers and visa holders such as accommodation and food services, and manufacturing.

Fair Work inspectors audited the time and wage records of 55 businesses across Orford, Triabunna, Swansea, Bicheno and Scamander.

As a result of the campaign, $9,580 was recovered for 11 employees, with individual recovery amounts ranging from $111 to $3835.

Fair Work Inspectors issued two formal cautions, two infringement notices (on-the-spot fines) and one compliance notice during the campaign.

In one matter, a motel was found to have failed to meet the minimum hourly rate required under the relevant award in respect of four of its workers – half of its total workforce.

The employer was issued with a compliance notice and a total of $3579 was back-paid to the workers in accordance with the notice.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says that non-compliant businesses in the region were now on notice that future breaches would not be tolerated.

“There has never been more freely available information to assist employers to understand and comply with their workplace obligations,” Ms James said.

“Businesses should be aware that ignorance is not an excuse and breaches of workplace law may attract enforcement action.”

The campaign found that 87 per cent of businesses were paying their employees correctly, and 80 per cent were compliant with record keeping and pay slip requirements.

Significantly, all businesses found to be non-compliant were small businesses of less than 15 employees.

Ms James says that small businesses remain a priority for her agency, noting that they may require additional support as they often lack dedicated payroll or human resources functions.

“I encourage small businesses in particular to register for a free My Account with the Fair Work Ombudsman, which is an easy way to remain informed and receive tailored information relevant to your business,” Ms James said.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can opt for priority service by following the prompts. 

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.

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Read the Tasmanian South-East Coast Regional Campaign Report 

Media inquiries:

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