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Businesses Face Check-Up

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Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James

April 21, 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman plans to check 200 businesses in the Wide Bay region as part of a new compliance campaign.

Fair Work Inspectors will audit time and wage records at randomly selected businesses across a variety of industries in Bundaberg, Gympie, Maryborough, Hervey Bay and surrounding areas.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said her agency had been contacted by hundreds of workers in the region over the past two financial years alleging they have been underpaid.

“In the last two financial years my agency recovered $402,805 for 220 workers in the Wide Bay region,” Ms James said.

“The Wide Bay region has a high unemployment rate and a high youth unemployment rate, making workers in the region more vulnerable to exploitation and potentially more willing to accept sub-standard work practices.”

Ms James said one of the aims of the campaign was to ensure employers were aware of their workplace responsibilities and how the Fair Work Ombudsman can assist them to access, understand and apply information to build a culture of compliance in their workplaces.

“It is important that we are proactive about checking that employees are receiving their full lawful entitlements and improving compliance in the region,” Ms James said.

Fair Work Inspectors will provide employers with advice and access to resources that will assist them to meet their workplace obligations.

Local employer groups, including councils and business associations, have also been contacted to seek their assistance in promoting the campaign.

Ms James said her agency was also particularly focused on assisting workers who were new to the workforce because they could be vulnerable if they were not fully aware of their rights or may be reluctant to complain.

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