The 378 businesses with errors had a total of 520 individual errors (see Figure 6). The largest proportion of errors related to monetary entitlements (65%), with over a third (38%) relating to wages. Pay slip errors accounted for 32%, followed by overtime (16%) and penalty rates (7%). Allowances, including apprentice tool and industry allowance accounted for 4% of the errors. The other errors identified included unauthorised deductions, minimum engagements and leave loading.
Figure 6: Individual Error Types
The FWO audited a motor vehicle servicing centre in regional New South Wales as part of the campaign. The business employed one first year, and one third year apprentice motor mechanic.
FWI’s assessed the employment records of the apprentices, and found that the third year apprentice was being paid correctly and receiving all the required entitlements for an apprentice under the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 (the Award). However FWI’s discovered the first year apprentice was receiving a base hourly rate of $9.36, instead of the correct rate of $9.82.
The owner of the business advised he had checked the rates some time ago, but had not used the most current rate (which had increased the previous July in line with the Annual Wage Review). FWI’s assisted the owner to use the correct rates to calculate the amount the apprentice had been underpaid due to the incorrect rate. In total the apprentice was underpaid $502, which the owner immediately paid to the apprentice. The owner also ensured the apprentice was being paid the correct rates and receiving all the correct entitlements moving forward.
FWI’s provided assistance to the business owner on the tools the FWO has available to determine apprentice rates of pay, and ensure they are receiving all of their correct entitlements. This included registering for the FWO My Account service, which provides updates and reminders for issues including rate changes as a result of the yearly Annual Wage Review. The business will also be considered for inclusion in the FWO’s National Compliance Monitoring Campaign.