The Fair Work Ombudsman has written to more than 24,000 employers in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry as part of a new national education and compliance campaign.
The campaign is promoting a range of free tools, templates and advice accessible on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website at www.fairwork.gov.au/vehicle 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Detailed, user-friendly information is available on the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010, including the types of businesses covered, apprenticeships and traineeships, pay rates and classifications, hours of work, rosters, breaks and leave entitlements.
Employers can also view a webinar outlining the Fair Work Ombudsman’s campaign and the resources available via the website.
Key stakeholders, including employer groups and unions, have been briefed on the campaign and are assisting to promote its objectives to their members.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is contacting a sample of 1300 employers throughout Australia and 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 check that 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.
Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the campaign provides an opportunity for employers to improve their understanding of and compliance with workplace laws.
Inspectors investigate about 300 complaints a year from workers in the vehicle 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,” Mr Wilson said.
“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.”
Employers to be audited have been selected in locations in and around:
NSW/ACT: Sydney, Canberra, Armidale, Batemans Bay, Bathurst, Broken Hill, Central Coast, Cessnock, Cooma, Dapto, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Forster, Goulburn, Grafton, Gunnedah, Katoomba, Kempsey, Lismore, Maitland, Newcastle, Nowra, Orange, Tamworth, Taree, Tweed Heads, Wagga, Wollongong and Young.
VIC: Melbourne, Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Benalla, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Colac, Geelong, Gisborne, Horsham, Moe, Rosebud, Shepparton, Stawell, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Warragul, Warrnambool, Whittlesea and Wodonga.
QLD: Brisbane, Ayr, Beaudesert, Bowen, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Loganholme, Mackay, the Moreton Bay district, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast and Townsville.
WA: Perth, Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Canarvon, Denmark, Derby, Esperance, Exmouth, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Karratha, Kununurra, Mandurah, Margaret River, Mount Barker, Narrogin, Port Hedland and Wagin.
SA: Adelaide, Berri, the Barossa Valley, Ceduna, Clare, Mount Barker, Mount Gambier, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Victor Harbor and Whyalla.
TAS: Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Kingston.
NT: Darwin and Alice Springs.
Inspectors will be sensitive to the special needs of any businesses affected by recent natural disasters and extreme weather events.
Employers or employees seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.