Despite all of the media attention, repeated warnings and penalties imposed by the Fair Work Ombudsman, employers are continuing to be caught underpaying their employees.
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) released findings from their proactive compliance campaign targeting businesses in the Southern ACT region. This audit revealed a massive 17% of employers in the region were underpaying their staff!
The audit campaign came of the back of a number of requests for assistance from young workers. The results highlight employers are struggling with the complexity of employment regulations.
With employees more actively seeking assistance from the FWO and using digital resources to ensure their rights are protected, including the new “Record My Hours App”, business must be proactive ensuring their practices are compliant. The FWO has been auditing industries and regions across the nation with the aim to reduce non-compliance with workplace obligations. At the current rate businesses in breach of their employment obligations will likely be audited, fined and even have legal proceedings commenced by the FWO.
Common mistakes made by employers:
So what are some of the common mistakes businesses are making when it comes to their staff?
Common mistakes include:
• failing to pay overtime, penalty rates and allowances according to the modern award;
• making unlawful deductions from employees pay;
• unlawfully classifying employees as independent contractors;
• engaging in illegitimate unpaid ‘work experience and internships’; and
• misunderstanding leave entitlements.
Minimising Your Risk
With the stakes high and the consequences large, this case study serves as an important reminder that businesses, both big and small must take proactive action to ensure they are compliant.
Australia’s employment laws and regulations are complex. HR Assured can assist employers in understanding the laws and regulations that govern the engagement of employees to avoid businesses finding themselves faced with fines and penalties.
HR Assured can provide your business with various resources to minimise your risk, including access to a 24/7 Telephone Advisory Service. This service provides you with access to experienced consultants that can help manage all your employment and HR matters at any time of the day! Along with this you will receive an audit of your current workplace practices by one of our senior workplace relations consultants to identify areas of non-compliance and manage risk before the FWO targets your business.
If you’d like more information about the benefits of becoming an HR Assured client contact us today.