Businesses in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales are being targeted by the Fair Work Ombudsman in its latest targeted audit campaign.
The audit of 600 businesses will check that employers are paying their employees correctly and keeping accurate records and providing pay slips.
Areas to be targeted
Areas to be targeted by the Fair Work Ombudsman include Ballina, Richmond Valley, Lismore, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.
Inspectors will audit a range of businesses, including accommodation and food services, retail, manufacturing and healthcare.
High number of workplace complaints in area
According to the Ombudsman, the Northern Rivers region was selected for special attention because young workers are over represented in workplace disputes in the area, accounting for 24.8 percent of disputes, but only 17.8 percent of the working population.
The region’s workforce also has the fourth-highest percentage of mature-aged workers nationally, who are vulnerable to age discrimination and fear for their job security.
The accommodation and food services sector are among the largest employing industries in the region.
Audits have their place
Industrial relations advocate Miles Heffernan from WAGETHEFT.net.au welcomed the targeted campaign by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
“Anything the workplace watchdog can do to police wage theft is a good thing, and certainly targeted campaigns like this one serve a purpose,” he said.
“But until we see governments step up to the plate to make wage theft a criminal offence, then I’m afraid the problem will continue to run rampant in many industries.
“We know that workers in retail, fast food, hospitality and the fruit and vegetable picking industries are particularly vulnerable to wage theft, so we really need to see rogue employers face criminal convictions and jail sentences before they will think twice before stealing from their workers.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman has promised “serious consequences” for businesses found to not be doing the right thing during the upcoming audit in the Northern Rivers.
$299 Wage Theft Check
To help workers who believe they are not being paid their correct wages and entitlements, WAGETHEFT.net.au is offering a WAGE THEFT CHECK.
For $299, the firm will request a worker’s pay records, and then crunch the numbers to calculate how much they have been underpaid, including things like penalty rates, shift allowances, overtime and superannuation.
The worker will then be given a report and advice on how to recover their money.
“Our Wage Theft Check is a quick and cheap way to work out exactly how much money you’re owed, right down to the last cent,” Mr Heffernan said.
If you have not received your proper wages and entitlements, or are considering legal action to recover stolen wages, we can help.
Please call our specialist team at WAGETHEFT.net.au on
1300 1 THEFT (1300 184 338)
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