The Fair Work Ombudsman will return to Caboolture Strawberry Farms this week to ensure that businesses are meeting their workplace obligations.
The return visit follows an inspection last month which identified several potential breaches including underpaid wages. The Ombudsman, Natalie James will also be encouraging workers to come forward with any concerns relating to workplace conditions.
James states that on the spot fines up to $2,250, or further action – including legal action where penalties of up to $51,000 apply against businesses, and $10,200 against individual employers may be issued for each breach of workplace law.
“The visits conducted last month had an educational focus, helping employers with information they need to meet their obligations under workplace law, particularly in relation to payments to seasonal workers,” said James.
“Now we are returning to ensure the message has got through and that employers have taken notice of the information provided to them.”
James says that Fair Work was prompted by a number of specific complaints relating to strawberry farms in Caboolture surrounding wages, payslips, written workplace agreements and unlawful deductions to employees’ wages for accommodation and travel expenses.
“These are all important issues which need to be addressed,” said James.
“For example, providing pay slips within the legally required timeframe of 24 hours of payment and with the legally required information such as hours worked and rates applicable to those hours, is essential to allow workers to check that they’ve received everything they should.
“We are also keen to speak to employees who believe they aren’t being paid correctly. Some workers were reluctant to speak to us during our recent visits, although a number followed-up by contacting our Infoline.”