Workplace watchdog targets WA businesses

Workplace Ombudsman will begin auditing businesses across Western Australia's Kimberley region to ensure workers are being paid correctly

Businesses across Western Australia’s Kimberley region will be targeted for audits in a campaign by the Federal Workplace Ombudsman.

Inspectors from the Ombudsman’s Broome office will begin conducting about 50 face-to-face audits of employers in Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra and surrounding areas towards the end of the April

Several employers at Derby have been asked to provide employment records and similar requests will also be posted to employers at Wyndham.

Inspectors will look at employment records to check businesses are keeping the correct time-and-wages records, issuing pay-slips correctly and paying workers their full entitlements, including hourly rates, allowances and penalty rates.

"A significant proportion of workers in the region are considered vulnerable to exploitation, such as travellers and 457 visa workers, so it’s important we make sure they are being treated fairly," the Ombudsman’s state director Leigh Quealy says.

"Education is a big part of the Workplace Ombudsman’s role and our inspectors will be working with employers to help them address any issues identified and facilitate back-payments to any workers identified as being underpaid."

The campaign follows random audits of 105 businesses in Kununurra, Karratha, Port Hedland, Derby, Broome, Wyndham and Dampier late last year.

Inspectors found that 19 were failing to meet record-keeping and payslip requirements.

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