Fair Work targets fast-food outlets

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 19th October 2010

Fair Work inspectors will this week conduct face-to-face visits to about 80 fast food outlets located in various Brisbane food courts, as well as food businesses on the Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Cairns, Toowoomba and Townsville.

Fair Work said that inspectors will call on a number of take-away shops which have previously been the subject of complaints, while others will be selected at random.

Businesses will be asked to supply employment records to ensure staff are being paid correctly and employers are complying with their record-keeping obligations.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says a key objective of the campaign is to help employers understand national workplace laws, including Modern Awards and minimum National Employment Standards.

“This is also an industry which employs large numbers of young, immigrant and low-paid workers who may be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights,” he said.

“It is important we ensure these workers are paid their full entitlements.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman audited 675 businesses, including many fast food outlets, during a National Food Services Campaign in 2008-09 and recovered $1.23 million for more than 1000 workers who had been underpaid.

“As part of this new effort in Queensland, we will provide information and assistance to employers and request they voluntarily rectify any problems we encounter,” Mr Campbell said.

“In cases where they don’t, or where we suspect deliberate underpayments or other serious breaches have occurred, we may launch a full investigation.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources on its website to assist employers to comply with workplace laws and operate their workplace at best practice.

Resources for small business on www.fairwork.gov.au include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist, template letters and fact sheets on dozens of topics including leave, industrial action, public holidays, enterprise bargaining, gender pay equality and family-friendly workplaces.

As well as Online resources, the Fair Work Ombudsman has more than 200 highly-skilled advisers available to speak with employers and workers with questions on its Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am – 6pm weekdays.