A recent audit of employers in Braeside, Coburg and Reservoir by the Fair Work Ombudsman has found that one third of employers are not complying with workplace laws.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is the government body that is supposed to be responsible for ensuring employers stick to workplace laws. Their recent audit found 35 businesses in these suburbs breaching the rules.
The audits found $17,300 worth of unpaid wages and entitlements, including $15,325 at one work place alone! Unfortunately, while one third of the employers audited were found to be in breach of workplace laws, including serious under payment, the Fair Work Ombudsman has chosen not to prosecute any of the bosses involved.
This stands in marked contrast to the way that workers are treated if they are found stealing from employers. If a worker stole a Mars Bar they would face immediate dismissal and criminal charges.
The way the Fair Work Ombudsman treats employers however is to ask them nicely to adhere to their responsibilities and to not do it again. If the shoe was on the other foot there would be no opportunity for a worker to simply give back a Mars Bar, let alone $17,300!
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s recent audits go some way to revealing the type of dodgy employers and practices that scores of young casual workers face everyday. The fact that bosses who breech the law are rarely prosecuted shows that the Fair Work Ombudsman can not be relied upon to protect your rights.
The only way to ensure you’re paid properly and that your workplace rights are respected is to be a member of your union. We encourage all workers in the fast food and retail sector to join UNITE. Workers are always stronger together!