Victorian accountancy and recruitment practices have the lowest levels of workplace relations compliance in their industries according to the results of a national campaign run across 1,621 businesses nationally
The campaign was conducted in relation to compliance with the Clerks - Private Sector Award 2010 as a result of the number of complaints received by the Fair Work Ombudsman about underpayments and non-compliance (4,000 between 2008 and 2010).
While the Fair Work Ombudsman was happy with the overall national outcome, the results for Victoria were comparatively poor:
- 31% of Victorian employers visited were non-compliant as compared to 29% for Queensland, 24% for Tasmania, 18% each for South Australia and Northern Territory, 16% each for New South Wales and Western Australia and 15% for the Australian Capital Territory and
- Victorian employers being responsible for $87,645 (51%) of the $171,024 in underpaid wages and entitlements recovered by the Fair Work Ombudsman in the course of this campaign.
It is obviously not a good look (and can't be good for business) for:
- an accountancy practice to not be paying due diligence to its compliance obligations or
- a recruitment firm to not be regarded as a good employer
There is also the risk of fines of up to $33,000 per offence and retrospectivity of underpayment claims for up to 6 years.
Please also note that:
- occupational awards like the Clerks - Priivate Sector Award 2010 have broad application across all industries except those which have an industry award that specifically includes coverage of the occupation in question (so businesses in other industries need to ensure their compliance) and
- prior to introduction of the Clerks - Private Sector Award 2010, clerical workers in Victoria had federal award coverage with similar entitlements dating back to 2005 under the Clerical and Administrative Employees (Victoria) Award 1999 Common Rule Declaration (so compliance obligations and exposure goes back to well before the Fair Work system came in).
If you need some assistance in verifying your compliance and/or enhancing your people management practices and reputation, contact us.