The Fair Work Ombudsman has begun auditing 75 businesses in South Australia’s Barossa and Adelaide Plains regions as part of a three-month workforce compliance campaign.
The campaign encompasses employers across retail, health care, transport, electrical services, agriculture, food and drink, with all businesses being randomly selected.
Businesses located in the Barossa Valley, Gawler and Two Wells will be inspected by Fair Work until the end of June.
Inspectors will be checking that businesses are paying correct wages, penalty rates and allowances and other entitlements. They will also monitor whether employers are complying with record keeping and pay slips.
The Barossa and Adelaide Plains regions are home to thousands of businesses and have had population growth higher than the State average and experienced significant employment shifts between industry sectors in recent years.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the purpose of the campaign is to ensure employers are aware of their workplace responsibilities and how to access, understand and apply information to build a culture of compliance.
“It’s important we check that workers are being paid correctly, but we also want to be pro-active about ensuring employers understand their obligations,” she said.
“Inspectors will offer tailored assistance to rectify any non-compliance issues and put processes in place to ensure employers get things right in the future.”
The previous national campaign targeting the fast food industry saw over 900 take-away food workers across Australia repaid a total of $582,410 in unpaid wages. A total of 223 businesses were implicated, with one business owing employees more than $35,000.
Would your business pass a FWO audit?
Under Federal law all employers are required to have detailed records for all of their employees.
There are number of records that employers must maintain including general records of the employee, their hours worked, pay records, leave records, superannuation contributions and termination records.
Failure to keeps these means your business may not be complying with legal requirements which can result in fine and penalties. Individuals can be fined up to $33) and corporate bodies up to $1650 per infringement.
A FWO inspector is permitted to enter business premises and inspect work processes and objects, view documents and record and take samples of goods.
There are a range of free tools and resources available to them on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.
On the website, small business owners can also find template documentation to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, including letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay-slip templates, leave application forms and a self-audit check list.
The recently-launched mobile-friendly Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) can assist business owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees and a series of Best Practice Guides is available on a range of topics, including “Small Business and the Fair Work Act”.