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17-190MR FWO and ASIC target Melbourne businesses in joint campaign
The Fair Work Ombudsman and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) will audit 50 businesses in the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs in their second joint operation.
On 20 and 21 June, Fair Work inspectors will be checking time and wage records to ensure employers are paying their workers correctly and complying with pay slip and record-keeping requirements.
Concurrently, ASIC analysts will be conducting site visits to raise awareness of the role of ASIC and the tools and resources that are available to assist small businesses with their compliance obligations.
By coordinating their visits, FWO and ASIC are aiming to reduce the time burden on small businesses who would otherwise receive separate visits from the agencies.
The campaign follows the success of the agencies’ May 2016 joint operation in Brisbane, which received positive feedback from businesses.
The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered almost $40,000 for underpaid workers as part of the Brisbane campaign (see: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2017-media-releases/january-2017/20170112-fwo-asic-campaign-release).
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said both agencies want to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to access the advice and support they need to comply with their various legislative obligations.
“A major objective of the joint campaign is to educate employers about their responsibilities and arm them with the tools they need to build a culture of compliance within their business,” Ms James said.
“Where instances of non-compliance are identified, Fair Work inspectors will assist employers to rectify the issues and put in place processes to ensure the same issues do not arise in the future.”
ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft also emphasised the importance of education and noted that many small businesses face challenges in simply keeping track of their obligations.
“Businesses with first-time company directors will be a focus of the campaign, with the aim of providing them early on with the resources and information they need to understand and meet their obligations,” Mr Medcraft said.
Employers and employees seeking assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is also available by calling 13 14 50. Small business operators can opt to receive priority service from the Small Business Helpline.
Employers seeking assistance from ASIC can visit www.asic.gov.au or call the ASIC Customer Contact Centre by calling 1300 300 630.