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Assessments of businesses in north-west Hobart by Fair Work have shown encouraging findings with more than three-quarters of those inspected being fully compliant with their obligations under federal workplace laws.
Fair Work inspectors initiated the spot check on more than 50 employers in response to an increasing number of employers requesting compliance assistance in the suburbs skirting the north-west of the city.
In April 2016, Fair Work launched a campaign to help educate employers and employees working in remote and regional locations around Australia.
Auditing was carried out across a range of sectors, including restaurants and cafes, automotive repairs, hairdressers, retail shops and road freight transport. Almost half of the businesses were located in Moonah, almost a quarter in Glenorchy, and the remainder in Derwent Park, Goodwood, Battery Point and Margate.
Compliance with wage rates, overtime and weekend penalty rates, allowances, and pay-slip and record-keeping obligations were scrutinised and assessed.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James felt that the results were encouraging and said that 72 percent were compliant with all their requirements, 86 percent paid their employees correctly and 84 percent met record-keeping and pay-slip obligations.
Only 14 percent of businesses were found to have errors with pay-slips and records, six paid incorrect wage rates and one breached both wages and pay-slip requirements and 10 percent of employers were asked to repay $2526 to 10 employees who had been short-changed.
Businesses found to be non-complaint will be re-audited as part of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s National Compliance Monitoring Campaign. Businesses which were members of an employer or industry association had higher compliance rates than non-members.
She says one of the aims of the campaign was to ensure employers were aware of their workplace responsibilities and how the Agency can assist them to access, understand and apply information to build a culture of compliance.
“We want to understand the problems employers face when dealing with workplace laws. We want to help them deal with workplace issues. If we do find that they’ve made any errors, we’ll work with them to make sure they understand how to correct these,” said the Ombudsman.