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Half Of Barossa Businesses Breaking Workplace Laws

Half of Barossa businesses breaking workplace laws

It may be one of South Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, but a blitz of the Barossa Valley by the workplace watchdog has found half of the businesses in the region are breaking workplace laws.

The results of the random audits were released by the Fair Work Ombudsman today, after its inspectors targeted businesses in the townships of Nurioopta, Williamstown, Angaston and Lyndoch.

70 outlets targeted

Of the 70 outlets visited by the inspectors, 30 per cent were found to not be paying their workers the correct wages, and 31 per cent were not keeping proper payslip and record-keeping records.

Fair Work recovered a total of $11,438 for 12 employees, and issued seven on-the-spot fines and three formal cautions.

Countless workers being ripped off Australia-wide

Miles Heffernan, from Industrial Relations Claims, said it was disappointing that as many as half of businesses across the region were not meeting their workplace obligations.

“If this is just a handful of businesses in one small part of the country, and half of them are doing the wrong thing, it makes you wonder just how many others there are Australia-wide,” he said.

“There must be countless workers who are currently being ripped off with their wages and entitlements.”

Casual worker found to be paid $20 an hour

In one case in the Barossa, a small retail outlet in Angaston was found to be paying a casual employee a flat hourly rate of $20, which was an underpayment of $3.74 an hour.

When Fair Work inspectors asked for records, the employer admitted they did not provide payslips.

“Every employee should be provided with regular payslips at the end of every pay period, and it should detail things like the pay period, the hours you worked, the amount you are paid, your rate of pay, and any superannuation that has been withheld,” Mr Heffernan said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently updated its website, so it can now translate into 40 different languages instantly, so there is no excuse for any employer to do the wrong thing, according to Mr Heffernan.

“All the information an employer needs to make sure they’re doing the right thing by their workers, is all there with the simple click of a button,” he said.

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