The Fair Work Ombudsman has released its latest National Compliance Monitoring report after re-auditing 479 businesses that had previously breached workplace laws.
The campaign targeted businesses in various sectors across Australia, with a particular focus on industries employing vulnerable workers – including cleaning, hospitality, retail, construction and manufacturing.
Fair Work Inspectors found 62 per cent of employers that were re-audited are now meeting workplace obligations.
Where inspectors identified non-compliance, they recovered $244,246 for 347 workers, issued 16 compliance notices, 56 infringement notices (on-the-spot fines) and 88 formal cautions.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the results reflected the effectiveness of the agency’s compliance and education activities.
“Once we have identified employers who are breaching the law, we assist them to rectify the situation, educate them about their workplace obligations and provide them with the tools to manage their employees’ pay and entitlements,” she said.
“We regularly follow up with businesses to ensure they have made the necessary changes to comply with workplace laws. This activity confirms that most employers respond well to initial contact, and we are having a significant impact on long-term behavioural change.”
In the 2017-18 financial year, the FWO recovered close to $30 million in unpaid wages for more than 13000 workers.
In September, a Melbourne-based cleaning company was fined $144,000 for underpaying three casual employees, two of whom were migrant workers.
“Any employer found in breach of workplace laws should be aware that we will continue to monitor their compliance and take appropriate action until they meet legal obligations to their employees.”
The campaign follows the release of a report conducted by UNSW Sydney and UTS that found fewer than one in 10 migrant workers recover unpaid wages even though most know they are being underpaid.