The campaign resulted in the following compliance and enforcement outcomes:
- seven formal cautions
- six infringement notices totalling $4500
- three compliance notices resulting in $8576 back-pay for 25 employees.
Examples of the types of matters we utilised compliance and enforcement tools for are contained in the case studies below.
Case study – formal caution
Formal cautions are issued when the FWO has found instances of non-compliance and it is considered appropriate to put a business on notice that future non-compliance could result in the FWO seeking financial penalties. If the FWO becomes aware of any further instances of non-compliance, the fact that the business was issued with a formal caution (in writing) will be taken into account in deciding whether to commence civil legal proceedings against the business, and it may be used as evidence in any penalty determinations.
Fair Work Inspectors audited a beauty therapy business in the Adelaide CBD, assessing time and wages records against the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 and the Act. They found that the business engaged a casual employee as a Salon Assistant, and paid them a flat rate of pay for all hours worked, including weekends, that was below the minimum award rate for Monday to Friday hours.
When FWO inspectors interviewed the employee, they discovered that the worker held qualifications in Beauty Therapy, and performed the duties of a Beauty Therapist on a regular basis. This meant that the business had under-classified the employee, and should have been paying a much higher rate of pay. The total amount owing to this employee was calculated to be just over $2800.
The Inspectors educated the employer about the award’s classification structure, and issued a formal letter of caution to ensure the employer was aware of its responsibility to keep up to date with current wage rates and to deter non-compliant behaviour in the future. The employer back-paid the employee and amended their classification level to accurately reflect the duties being performed.
Case study – infringement notice
An infringement notice is a fine given to a business for non-compliance with record-keeping or pay slip requirements of the Act and the Regulations.
A total of $4500 in infringement notices were issued during the campaign.
Fair Work Inspectors visited a restaurant in an Adelaide CBD dining precinct. When interviewed on site, the employer revealed that no rosters or time sheets were kept, and the business didn’t issue pay slips to employees.
The FWO provided the employer with extensive guidance on the record-keeping requirements of the Act, including providing a range of fact sheets and templates to assist improvement of its practices.
Inspectors issued two infringement notices, each for $1800, for the failure to maintain records and for failing to issue pay slips as required by the Act and the Regulations.
The employer was advised that a future follow up audit would occur and any future non-compliance would be grounds for consideration of the FWO commencing legal proceedings.
Case study – compliance notice
A compliance notice is a written notice legally requiring a business to rectify breaches of the Act. Failure to comply with a compliance notice results in the FWO commencing legal proceedings.
Three Compliance Notices were issued in this Campaign, resulting in a total of $8576 being recovered for 25 employees.
Fair Work Inspectors audited a restaurant in a popular food precinct strip and found a number of monetary and technical breaches of both the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 and the Act. As the employer had paid staff a low flat rate of pay, these breaches included underpayment of the minimum ordinary rate of pay, evening and weekend penalty rates, as well as overtime. Further breaches disclosed by the inspectors related to meal breaks and split shift entitlements under the award as well as record keeping and payslips contraventions.
As there were multiple breaches of the award, the FWO issued a compliance notice which resulted in the back payment of $2487 to affected workers. The employer was also provided with educational resources to help ensure the business complied will all record keeping and payslips obligations in the future.