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Fair Work Ombudsman Releases Annual Report

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The Fair Work Ombudsman (‘FWO’) has released its Annual Report (‘Report’) for the 2010-11 financial year. The Report highlights the strengthening of the FWO as it begins to exercise its force in Australian workplaces.

The Report demonstrates that more than 2.4 million people have sought information, assistance and advice from the FWO in the last financial year. The FWO has chosen to promote the following in its Report:

  • The Fair Work Infoline received more than 825,000 callers;
  • Fair Work Inspectors completed more than 22,000 visits to employers;
  • Achieved Court ordered penalties of more than $2.1 million in 40 litigation matters;
  • Addressed serious, wilful and repeated non-compliance, in relation to the relevant Acts and awards, through 55 civil penalty litigations.
  • Received 1171 complaints relating to workplace discrimination; and
  • Recovered more than $26.7 million for 17 360 employees, that is comprised of:
    • $8.2 million in back pay for employees in NSW;
    • $7.5 million in back pay for employees in VIC;
    • $6 million in back pay for employees in QLD;
    • $1.7 million in back pay for employees in WA;
    • $1.5 million in back pay for employees in SA;
    • $858 000 in back pay for employees in TAS;
    • $354 000 in back pay for employees in ACT; and
    • $273 000 in back pay for employees in NT.

The issues of non compliance in relation to the relevant Acts and awards, along with underpayment of wages, are two areas that the FWO has chosen to focus on heavily.

The FWO has also highlighted its intention to pursue random workplace audits across Australia.

If you are unsure as to whether your business is meeting its legislative obligations, please contact the MST Workplace Relations team.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s annual report can be accessed here.

Author:  Chad Issa

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