Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94
4 Nov 2010
Fair Work inspectors set to scrutinise
employers in North-East Victoria
The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced plans to step up scrutiny of employers
in North-East Victoria.
The workplace regulator has put businesses in Wangaratta, Tallangatta and
Corryong on notice that they will be subject to random audits.
A team of inspectors from the Agencys Bendigo office will visit retail, hospitality,
hairdressing and farm supply businesses.
They will doorknock about 35 businesses over three days from November 9 11.
Employers will be asked to open their books to inspectors so they can check if
workers are being paid correctly.
Audits will focus on record-keeping and pay slips to ensure regional employers
are complying with their legal obligations.
Inspectors will also provide advice to employers about the free tools and
resources available to them at www.fairwork.gov.au and explain the benefits of
calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the face-to-face
contacts are part of a rolling education and awareness campaign throughout
Similar targeted, local campaigns have recently been conducted in Wodonga,
Echuca, Hamilton and Wonthaggi.
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 inspectors find employment records are not up to scratch or
indicate workers are being underpaid, they may launch a wider investigation.
Where we do identify issues, our first step is to assist employers to comply and
seek their co-operation to voluntarily rectify any problems, Mr Campbell said.
If they do not, or if we suspect deliberate underpayments or other serious
contraventions, we may launch a full audit, which could lead to court
Mr Campbell says the campaign also aims to ensure more country employers
understand the role of the Fair Work Ombudsman and how it can assist them
comply with workplace laws.
Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94
Also, we find workers in regional areas are sometimes 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.
Mr Campbell says small to medium-sized businesses without human resources
staff can also ensure they are better equipped by accessing free employment
documentation on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Online resources also include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit
checklist and fact sheets.
The Fair Work Infoline 13 13 94 operates from 8am - 6pm weekdays.
Richard Honey, Media Adviser, 0457 924 146, firstname.lastname@example.org