Bass Coast Employers Targeted For Educational Visits

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2nd February 2010, 10:00am - Views: 538






People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 





Media Release





    2 Feb 2010


Bass Coast retail and hospitality sectors

targeted for educational visits 


The Fair Work Ombudsman has signalled plans to step up scrutiny of employers

on Victoria’s Bass Coast.


The regulator has put businesses at Wonthaggi and Phillip Island on notice that

they will be subject to random audits.


A team of 13 inspectors from the Agency’s Melbourne and Traralgon offices will

converge on the region for three days from Monday, February 8.


They are expected to make surprise visits to about 150 businesses in the retail

and hospitality industries.


Employers will be asked to open their books to inspectors so they can check if

staff are being paid correctly.


The audits will focus on employers’ record-keeping and pay slips to ensure they

are complying with their legal obligations.


Fair Work inspectors will also provide information and advice to employers.


This includes two free seminars to be held during the campaign:



7pm, Monday Feb 8 – Council Chamber, McBride Ave, Wonthaggi, and


7pm Tuesday, Feb 9 – Cowes Cultural Centre, Thompson Ave, Cowes.


“These will be very much educational visits,” says Fair Work Ombudsman

Executive Director Michael Campbell.


“We can help explain changes like the recent introduction of the National

Employment Standards (NES) and new Modern Awards.


“We are very serious about our job of building knowledge and fairer workplaces,

and campaigns such as this one on the Bass Coast will help us to ensure the

community understands its rights and obligations.”


Mr Campbell says that in cases where records are not up to scratch or indicate

workers are being underpaid, inspectors may launch a wider investigation.


“Where we find records are not adequate or identify other non-compliance issues,

we will provide information and assistance to employers and ask that they

voluntarily rectify any problems.


“In cases where they don’t, or where we suspect deliberate underpayments or

other serious breaches have occurred, we may launch a full audit which could

lead to court proceedings.”

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People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image






Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 



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The maximum penalty for a breach of workplace law is $33,000.


Mr Campbell says the face-to-face visits aim to ensure Bass Coast employers

understand their obligations to their employees.


“In regional areas, workers are often reluctant to complain about their terms and

conditions of employment for fear they may put their job at risk,” he said.


“Similarly, they worry that if they make a complaint, it could impact on their

personal life, particularly in small communities.


“It is important regional workers understand there is an Agency they can turn to

if they have workplace concerns. Complaints can be made confidentially and

anonymously.”


Mr Campbell says the Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user friendly

resources that can help employers comply with workplace laws and operate their

business according to best practice.


Likewise, he says there are resources to assist employees understand their rights

in the workplace. 


Those seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or

visit www.fairwork.gov.au For translations call 13 14 50. 


The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative

workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national

workplace laws.


Bass Coast employers wishing to register for the seminars should contact Bass

Coast Council economic development manager Peter Francis on 5951 3316.



Media inquiries: 


Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations, 0419 818 484.

craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au


Ryan Pedler, (03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924. ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au






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