Fair Work Ombudsman targets Coffs Harbour Businesses

Posted on 15. May, 2013 by andrew in News

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.

Unsure if your business is compliant with the Fair Work Act? Contact us today.

Libs release new Workplace Relations Policy

Posted on 10. May, 2013 by andrew in News

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

Read the whole policy here.

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