Watchdog targets 40 businesses on wage issues

Fair Work Ombudsman to target 40 WA businesses in variety of industries to ensure employees are being paid correctly

November 12, 2009

As much as 40 random businesses in Western Australia will be targeted by the Fair Work Ombudsman as it attempts to crack down on employers paying staff incorrectly.

The Ombudsman has written to companies in Albany, Denmark and Mt Barker asking them to provide time and wage sheets, payslips and employment records.

The companies are across a variety of industries, and Fair Work Ombudsman WA Director Leigh Quealy says inspectors will scrutinise the records over the next week.

Depending on what is found, Quealy says action may be taken against companies found to be ripping off employees.

"In cases where records are not up to scratch or indicate workers are being underpaid, inspectors may launch a wider investigation," he says.

Quealy says inspectors will provide businesses with assistance and information to help them voluntarily rectify any issues identified.

"In cases were an employer refuses to voluntarily rectify issues or where we suspect serious, deliberate breaches have occurred, we may choose to launch court proceedings," he says.

The new campaign is also designed to educate employers and employees about their rights and obligations.

Quealy says there is help for workers and employers trying to understand the impact of recent changes made to workplace relations laws, such as the introduction of the Fair Work Act.

The Ombudsman has payslip and record-keeping templates on is website, while people can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

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