Today, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) released the unfortunate results of their latest audit campaign, demonstrating a continued failure by employers to fulfil their workplace obligations.
Through its news articles and alerts, HR Assured keeps its clients up-to-date with the FWO’s announced audit targets, which are often industry or geographically based. The audit campaign in question was created in response to employee complaints, and was conducted upon hundreds of businesses in Central Queensland, including the cities and townships of Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Emerald, Blackwater, Biloela and Gladstone. As has been the increasing trend lately, the FWO particularly focused on issues of record-keeping, wages and payslips.
After auditing 232 businesses in that area, the FWO found that:
- 30% were not compliant with their record-keeping and payslip obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth)
- 31% were underpaying their employees
- 51% were non-compliant with at least one of their employment relations responsibilities
It was found that generally, larger businesses were overall more compliant than smaller businesses. That’s not surprising to us – larger businesses have more HR personnel and more resources they can dedicate to ensuring they get it right. That’s why HR Assured is so beneficial to small and medium employers, as we can focus on your employees while you focus on your business.
On a positive note, the businesses identified by the FWO to be non-compliant were reported as being cooperative and having rectified their breaches immediately.
Cumulatively, the back payment required to be made to the underpaid employees was an incredible $110,087, spread across 72 businesses and over 300 employees.
If we think about this in context: as of June 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics counted over two million ‘actively trading businesses’ in Australia. The 232 businesses reviewed by this audit accounts for approximately 0.01% of the total number of Australian businesses, yet even that small proportion lent itself to underpayments of over $100,000 – it really makes you wonder just how many employers in Australia are not paying their employees their correct entitlements.
Don’t let yourself be one of them.
For more information on your workplace obligations and what this means for you, clients should contact the HR Assured team. If you’d like more information about the benefits of becoming an HR Assured client contact us today for an informal chat.