Brisbane caf the worst offender in Fair Work blitz

12 January, 2017 by
Danielle Bowling

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered almost $40,000 for underpaid Brisbane workers as part of a joint campaign with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The campaign involved Fair Work inspectors and ASIC analysts visiting 46 businesses in Brisbane’s CBD, Fortitude Valley, South Brisbane and West End in May last year.

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Fair Work Inspectors found 32 of the 46 businesses (70 percent) were fully compliant with their obligations under the Fair Work Act.

Of the 14 businesses (30 percent) with contraventions, six (13 percent) were found to have underpaid 30 employees a total of $39,526, while the other non-compliant businesses had made errors relating to record-keeping and/or pay slips.

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The biggest underpayment occurred at a caf that short-changed 12 employees a total of $20,600 as a result of underpaying their minimum hourly rates and penalty rates over a 12 month period.

Inspectors issued the business with two infringement notices totalling $1,800 and a Compliance Notice requiring back-payment of employees.

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Fair Work inspectors also issued $180 infringement notices to two other businesses with significant record-keeping and pay slip contraventions and issued formal cautions to two other businesses, including one to a restaurant that had underpaid nine employees a total of $4,170.

All businesses with underpayment issues agreed to promptly back-pay employees in-full.

It was the first time the Fair Work Ombudsman and ASIC have conducted a joint campaign, aiming to minimise the time impact on small businesses, which would otherwise face separate visits from the two agencies.

As part of the campaign, Fair Work inspectors provided businesses with advice about minimum pay rates and their record-keeping and pay slip obligations, and ASIC analysts educated new directors on their obligations as company office holders.