Fair Work Ombudsman pushes education and compliance

FWO national campaign aims to raise awareness of apprenticeship and traineeship issues

March 7, 2012

More than 24,000 workers in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry have been informed about Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) free tools and templates as part of a new national education and compliance campaign, the FWO’s office says.

The Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 includes information about apprenticeships and traineeships, pay rates, classification, hours of work, rosters, breaks and leave entitlements.

Key stakeholders, including employer groups and unions, have been briefed about the campaign.

They can view a webinar outlining the Ombudsman’s campaign and the resources available via the website.

The Ombudsman is currently contacting selected 13,000 employers across the country, asking them to supply employment records for audit.

These include those who employ mechanics, panel beaters, car washers, crash repair specialists, paint and interior repair specialists, windscreen repairers, auto electricians and tow-bar fitters.

Fair Work inspectors will investigate whether employers are paying workers correct minimum rates of pay, penalty rates, loadings and allowances and are complying with their record-keeping and pay slip obligations.

Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the campaign provides an opportunity for employers to improve their understanding and compliance with workplace laws.

Inspectors will investigate about 300 complaints each year from workers in the vehicles repair and maintenance industry.

"We have excellent resources available to assist the large number of employers in this industry to ensure they provide employees their full entitlements," Wilson says.

"If inspectors find minor or inadvertent contraventions, our preference will be to educate the employer and assist them to voluntarily rectify the issue.

"Obviously, in those cases where a contravention is blatant or employers are not willing to promptly resolve an issue, we may escalate the audit to a full investigation."

Inspectors will consider the special needs of any businesses affected by recent natural disasters and extreme weather events, he adds.

Employers or employees seeking assistance can contact Fair Work on 13 13 94.



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