Workplace Rights Week A Highlight For National Pay Protector

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29th October 2009, 07:03pm - Views: 935

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

   29 Oct 2009

Workplace Rights Week a highlight for national

pay protector

A program which saw workplace inspectors take a lead role visiting schools,

universities, shopping centres, businesses, industry and employer groups was a

highlight of 2008-09, says Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson.

In his annual report, Mr Wilson says Workplace Rights Week in April this year saw

his investigators doorknock almost 1600 educational facilities and businesses.

As well, they staffed 24 shopping centre information booths servicing over 1000

people and conducted 24 separate presentations for hundreds of interested


“The objective was to directly educate workers and employers alike about their

respective workplace rights and obligations – and it was clearly a successful

initiative,” Mr Wilson says.

Mr Wilson says his Agency (previously the Workplace Ombudsman) has worked in

partnership with the community to promote fairness and ensure justice in

Australian workplaces. 

“We have continued to develop community awareness and educate employees

and employers of their rights and responsibilities through diverse communications

activities,” he says.

“During the year, we have increased our level of engagement with all our key

stakeholders – industry, unions, the government, employers and employees.

“Our performance results and stakeholder feedback show that the compliance

message is getting across to the Australian community.”

Mr Wilson says the Agency’s reputation as a strong, fair, independent regulator

has prompted a number of very large companies to voluntarily come forward with

admissions about contraventions of workplace law.

He says this has resulted in the use of Enforceable Undertakings as an alternative

to litigation becoming part of the Agency’s suite of compliance tools.

Mr Wilson says his inspectors recovered $32,489,904 for 28,648 workers last

financial year – an average of $1100 each.

The annual report also shows the Agency: 

Finalised 99 per cent of complaints without the need to resort to legal


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People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


Secured more than $1.6 million in Court-awarded penalties against

employers it did prosecute,

Closed 28,082 Fairness Test matters and recovered $6.1 million in

compensation for those workers,

Completed 3743 No Disadvantage Test investigations and recouped

$732,600 in compensation for those employees,

Responded to more than 107,400 telephone inquiries,

Distributed more than 48,000 information packs as part of its targeted

campaign activity, 

Increased accessibility to services for non-English speakers by increasing

to 23 the number of language translations on its website, and

Recorded satisfaction ratings of 88 and 85 per cent respectively on its

provision of information to and investigation of matters on behalf of


Total returns to workers comprised:

NSW - $9.8 million for 7658 workers

Victoria - $8.7 million for 4552 workers

Queensland - $7 million for 8292 workers

Western Australia - $2.2 million for 1775 workers

South Australia - $2 million for 1015 workers

Tasmania - $1 million for 598 workers

ACT - $837,000 for 3817 workers

Northern Territory - $700,000 for 941 workers

Inspectors finalised 23,338 complaints and recorded a total of 19,567 breaches of

workplace law in 2008-09.

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

workplace relations. It also monitors and enforces compliance with federal

workplace law.

Employers and employees can seek assistance by contacting the Fair Work

Infoline on 13 13 94 or visiting

Media inquiries: 

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations  0419 818 484 Email:

Ryan Pedler: Mob: 0434 365 924; Email:

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