Fair Work Inspectors To Call On Northern Victorian Employers

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8th February 2010, 10:00am - Views: 471





People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 





Media Release





   8 Feb 2010


Fair Work inspectors to call on Northern

Victorian employers 


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

in Northern Victoria.


The regulator has put businesses in Tongala, Goornong, Elmore, Rochester,

Kyabram, Rushworth and Tatura on notice that they will be subject to random

audits.


A team of inspectors from the Agency’s Bendigo office will visit retail, hospitality,

hairdressing and farm supply businesses.


They are expected to make surprise visits to about 30 businesses tomorrow and

Wednesday (Feb 9 & 10).


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.


Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the face-to-face

contacts are part of a rolling campaign in Victoria.


Similar visits have already been made in Wodonga and Hamilton and are also

planned this week in Wonthaggi and Phillip Island.


“We are very serious about our job of ensuring the community understands its

rights and obligations in the workplace,” Mr Campbell said.


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 request they

voluntarily rectify any problems,” Mr Campbell said.


“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.”


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














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People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image






Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


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Mr Campbell says the campaign aims to ensure more country employers

understand their obligations to their employees and to raise awareness of the Fair

Work Ombudsman’s role.


“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 along with their city counterparts 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 on their website that can assist employers comply with workplace laws

and operate their workplace at best practice.


“Resources for small business on www.fairwork.gov.au include payslip and

record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist, template letters and fact sheets

on dozens of topics including leave, industrial action, public holidays, enterprise

bargaining, gender pay equality and family-friendly workplaces,” he said.


As well as online resources, the Fair Work Ombudsman has more than 200

highly-skilled advisers available to speak with employers and workers with

questions on its Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am - 6pm weekdays.


The Fair Work Ombudsman also has Best Practice Guides which have been

developed to assist employers make better use of the provisions of the Fair Work

Act and better understand other aspects of workplace laws.


Mr Campbell says the guides cover work and family, consultation and co-

operation, individual flexibility arrangements, employing young workers, gender

pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance,

effective dispute resolution and improving workplace productivity.


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

workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national

workplace laws.



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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