The Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) 2018 - 19 Annual Report, released in September, reveals the regulator recovered its highest ever figure in underpayments; $40 million for 18,000 employees. The report also shows that last year Fair Work’s website received a record number of visits (17.8 million), the Infoline answered its highest number of calls (380,000) and it increased enforcement of workplace laws, with more than 29,000 workplace disputes resolved.
Some of the key statistics from the annual report include:
- Fast food, restaurants and the cafe sector contributed to over 50% of the litigation cases last year, with the FWO securing $1.6 million in court penalties against employers in this sector.
- To combat the non-compliance in the fast food, restaurants and the cafe sector, the FWO launched new interactive tools to make it easier for employees and employers to access information about key entitlements such as pay, hours of work, leave and termination.
- With the ability to anonymously report employment breaches, FWO saw an increase in reporting, with over 16,000 reports received in the last financial year. This includes 1200 reports made in another language other than English.
- Fair Work Inspectors conducted over 2800 workplace audits, strategically targeting sectors at high risk of non-compliance.
- Inspectors issued almost $500K in on-the-spot fines for pay slip and record-keeping breaches.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the agency’s achievements show its commitment to promoting harmonious, productive, cooperative and compliant workplace relations.
“I am extremely proud of the agency’s work resolving employment disputes throughout the year, which has helped return wages to workers and kept employment relationships intact.”
“In line with our priorities, we will continue our important work educating employers and employees, targeting high-risk industries, protecting vulnerable workers and improving compliance across Australian workplaces in the year ahead.”
Ms Parker also urged employers to actively check they are paying their staff correctly, a task which can be done via accessing the Fair Work free resources.
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To view the Fair Work 2018 - 2019 annual report click here