Hundreds of construction businesses will be audited by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) inspectorate as part of a national campaign announced by FWO last week.
The FWO’s focus on the construction industry is a result of more than 2000 complaints to FWO by construction workers last year. Workplace contraventions were found, by FWO, to have occurred in approximately fifty per cent of these complaints.
The FWO will audit (including physical audits) up to 700 businesses to verify compliance with a range of workplace laws, such as minimum wages, penalties, allowances, record-keeping and pay slip obligations. All capital cities and selected regional areas will be targeted by the FWO. Businesses across the whole ambit of the construction industry will be targeted.
While the audited businesses will largely be selected randomly, some businesses with a history of non-compliance will be specifically targeted.
Where businesses are found to have contravened workplace laws, FWO inspectors are able to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $2,550. Where the FWO takes legal action, each contravention can attract penalties of up to $51,000 for companies and up to $10,200 for individuals.
Construction businesses should review their compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009 and their applicable Modern Award(s) or Enterprise Agreement(s). Businesses should be particularly mindful of the effect that the National Minimum Wage Review has on Modern Awards. Businesses with previous instances of non-compliance should be particularly mindful of the campaign.
Author: Paul Hardman
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