The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $368,666 for 102 underpaid security guards and supervisors.
The wages recovery happened as a result of audits of 13 security businesses around Perth.
75 percent of businesses ‘non-compliant’
Inspectors targeted businesses suspected of underpaying their workers and subsequently found 75 percent were non-compliant.
The most common breaches involved failures to pay penalty rates, including weekend, shift, and public holiday loadings (seven businesses).
Meanwhile, five of the businesses failed to pay overtime rates.
Fair Work recovers wages for underpaid security guards
Inspectors issued nine Compliance Notices requiring the businesses to calculate and back-pay outstanding wages and entitlements.
As a result, the workplace regulator recovered $368,666 from eight businesses for 102 employees.
Amounts back-paid from individual businesses ranged from $159,940 for 17 employees to $55 for one employee.
Fair Work issued two Infringement Notices issued for breaches of pay slip laws, resulting in $3,108 in fines.
One business remains under investigation, however.
The regulator warned all non-compliant businesses that any future breaches will lead to further enforcement action.
Security industry rife with wage theft
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan said the security industry is rife with wage theft.
“There is a top list of industries where wage theft is common, including hospitality, hair and beauty, transport and security,” he said.
“The security industry often uses contractors and sub-contractors and that makes it easy for employers to avoid paying things like penalty and overtime rates.”
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Sharper focus on employment responsibilities
Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the recent audits show the security industry needs to sharpen its focus on its employment responsibilities.
“The high rate of non-compliance we found among these security businesses is a concern,” she said.
“In particular, employers were not meeting their obligations to pay penalty rates, which the law requires to compensate workers for working often unsociable hours when most of the community are not.
“We expect all businesses to prioritise meeting their obligations so that workers are paid the right wages and entitlements in full.”
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