45 per cent of Adelaide businesses fail workplace compliance checks

Audits of 125 businesses across the Adelaide CBD and surrounding suburbs have found 45 per cent to be non-compliant with workplace laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently released the findings of its compliance and education campaign targeting businesses in the Adelaide CBD, North Adelaide, Norwood, Kent Town and Brompton. Compliance checks of businesses’ time and wage records found that 36 (29 per cent) of audited businesses were not paying their employees correctly, while 29 (23 per cent) had breached their record keeping and payslip requirements.

As a result of the audits, $54,701 in wages and entitlements was recovered for 113 workers. Inspectors issued seven formal cautions, six infringement notices (on-the-spot fines) and three compliance notices to non-compliant businesses.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the checks were prompted by comparatively high numbers of requests for assistance from the area in the years preceding the campaign, with numbers of requests from Adelaide, Norwood and Brompton amongst the highest in the state.

“As well as identifying instances of non-compliance, our campaign activities provide an opportunity to deliver targeted education to employers and employees about their workplace rights and obligations and equip them with the tools and information they need to ensure they are complying with the law,” said Ms James.

“The findings in this campaign reinforce the reason why we recently commenced the National Workplace Basics Campaign, as there are still too many employers simply not getting the basics right when it comes to ‘bread and butter’ issues such as pay rates, classifications and record keeping.”

In one matter, a restaurant in an Adelaide CBD dining precinct was issued with two infringement notices for failing to meet record-keeping and payslip requirements, including not issuing pay slips to its workers. The employer was provided with extensive guidance on record-keeping requirements and advised to expect a follow up audit by the FWO.

“Keeping correct employment records and providing payslips are basic workplace obligations that every employer should be aware of,” Ms James stated. “With penalties for record-keeping breaches recently increasing, it is imperative that businesses ensure they are meeting these obligations or risk hefty fines.

“We will be following up with businesses found to be non-compliant to ensure that they have rectified their issues and are doing the right thing going forward. We will not hesitate to take enforcement action where we find serious or deliberate breaches of workplace laws.”

The Adelaide CBD and Inner Metro campaign report follows the release earlier this year of the findings of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s campaign in the Barossa and Two Wells/Gawler regions of South Australia, which found 50 per cent of audited businesses to be non-compliant with workplace laws.

In April the Fair Work Ombudsman launched its Workplace Basics campaign which will see inspectors audit 1000 businesses across Australia and assist them to access and navigate the range of free workplace resources available to help them meet their obligations.

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