10 restaurants and fast food outlets on the Coffs Coast are facing investigation for under-paying staff, after recent spot-audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
21 businesses, which employ about 70 workers, were audited by staff from the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Overseas Workers Team as a result of tipoffs received from the community.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell said Chinese and Indian restaurants were a particular focus of the audits based on the information received, and enquiries conducted so far indicated the community’s concerns were well-founded.
“What we’ve found is preliminary evidence of workers being underpaid, particularly through the use of flat hourly rates for all hours worked, which appear not to cover minimum entitlements for all hours worked, including on weekends and public holidays,” Mr Campbell said.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman has a strong focus on vulnerable workers, which includes young people and foreign workers such as students and working holidaymakers who may not be aware of their workplace rights and entitlements.”
In one case, a fast-food worker was being paid just $9 per hour instead of the minimum of at least $17.50 they should have been receiving.
Two businesses were handed on-the-spot fines of $350 and $110 after failing to provide pay slips to their workers.
Others have been ordered to provide staff and payroll records to the Fair Work Ombudsman for further detailed investigation.
Other breaches identified were businesses not including required information on pay slips, not providing pay slips regularly and failing to keep accurate records, one employer having no records at all.
The Fair Work Ombudsman will be conducting follow-up enquiries to ensure future compliance with workplace laws.
The opposition has released its industrial relations policy, pledging once and for all it will not repeal the Fair Work Act.
If the Opposition comes to power following September’s election, leader Tony Abbott has said the Coalition will ‘improve’ the current legislation.
According to the Coalition’s Policy to Improve the Fair Work Laws, released today, there will not be any further changes to unfair dismissal laws or measures to set penalty rates in the first term of a Coalition government.
Key points of the Coalition’s policy
- The current Fair Work system would remain in place
- There would be changes to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme – namely, mothers six months leave based on their actual wage
- Increased penalties for unions and officials to equal company penalties
- The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) would be restored to act as watchdog commercial building sites and construction projects
- Unions’ access to workplaces would be restricted.
- Removal of the ability to restrict the use of Labor’s Individual Flexibility Arrangements in enterprise agreements.
- Tightened negotiation timeframes for Greenfield agreements
- Strikes would only be admissible following talks between parties.
- Individual flexibility arrangements would be available to all workers.
- Unfair dismissal laws would not change
- Recommendations from the Fair Work Review would still be considered
This year the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce is running a program called ‘Bellingen Business Builders’. It is a business support group to encourage sharing among business operators of their experience, knowledge and insight. There will be a learning component and group discussion on topics nominated by the group as issues for Bellingen businesses. See attached flyer and come and join us and contribute your knowledge and experience to the group.
Business Confidence up by 6% in 2012
The last quarter has shown a marked change in business sentiment in Australia with an increase of 6% in overall business confidence.The last half of 2011 saw a 15% drop in business confidence so the increase offers welcome respite. There is, however, a lot of ground to make up from the highs of 2007 and early 2008.
For the first time since 2008 wage pressure looks to be back on the agenda, with employers identifying an 18% increase in wage expectation by employers.
Unfortunately, in New Zealand the news isn’t as positive. The honeymoon period following the Rugby World Cup appears to have run its course. Businesses seem to be battening down the hatches once again looking to wait for the recovery. Peculiarly, the country may also find itself in the midst of a skills shortage as the year goes on. The demand for skilled labour in the South Island, coupled with Australia’s mining boom may have a crippling effect on the labour market.
To download the latest Australian Quarterly Index Dashboard Reports
HR Quarterly Index
The HR Quarterly Index is a national research initiative that reports on the business and human resource developments of the past quarter. The report evaluates measurements of business confidence, policy changes, market volatility and people issues, identifying the perceived impact on business performance.
The HR Quarterly Index provides HR professionals, business advisors, industry bodies, governments and business owners and managers with insights into the broader industry issues and their effects on the business sector.
For help with your HR or Business needs
The new version of STAR Workplace Program was recently launched by the HR Coach Research Institute. This program dovetails perfectly with the National Human Resource Standard NS HRF 101:2010 if your business requires quality assurance.
With the silly season almost upon us it is time to start planning for 2012. The first thing you need are good metrics to measure where you are now, set your goals for 2012, decide upon the strategies to get there and measure your success at the end. You need more than just financial measures to guide and measure your progress. You need comprehensive reporting and benchmarking, you need STAR Workplace Program. Knowledge is power and that is what STAR Workplace Program gives you. Once you start it will change the way you look at your business and change the way you plan.
At the upcoming Bellingen Chamber of Commerce summer business breakfast on 2nd December at the Old Butter Factory we will be exploring sustainable business and what it may mean for you and your business in 2012.
Sustainable business means different things to different people. A common question I ask is ‘How much of your profit walks out the door each day in your garbage bin?”. Practical recycling has been a passion of mine for much of my life. My ‘other’ life is that of a vermiculturalist running ‘Promised Land Worm Products’. We have just launched a new web site for worms on the web at www.plworms.com.au. Go and check it out. What is waste and what is resource in your business? Moving just a few items from one group to the other will go straight to your bottom line, and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Ask us about practical recycling options available to your business.
The HR Quarterly Index provides a summary of employment confidence in the business sector from the HR Coach Research Institute.
The current economic outlook is volatile. Last quarter we saw jitters enter the business sector. This quarter, those jitters seem to have been compounded and are now entrenched. Business confidence has dropped in the last quarter by a further 7%. This equates to a 15% drop in business confidence in 6 months.
To get the full report see below
This is a great offer for businesses struggling with ‘where to start’ with the new Workplace Health & Safety laws. The start date for the laws is 1st January 2012, so time is running out fast. Email or call today to organise an audit of your safety management systems and get compliant before 01/01/12. Workplace Health and Safety is everybody’s business!
Contact us today.
I was sent this amazing youtube video about motivation. It is fantastic. Follow the link below: