Fair work inspectors audited a total of 266 businesses including accommodation and food services; healthcare and social assistance; and hair and beauty, in Cairns, Innisfail, Mission Beach, and surrounding areas.
The campaign found a relatively high compliance rate, with 85 per cent of businesses compliant with record keeping and payslip requirements; 79 per cent paying their employees correctly; and 67 per cent meeting all of their workplace obligations.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said that while it was encouraging that the majority of businesses in the region were meeting their obligations, any instance of non-compliance needed to be addressed.
“This campaign identified 117 separate workplace contraventions, the majority of which related to underpayment of wages and failure to meet payslip requirements,” Ms James said.
“We have been working with non-compliant businesses to assist them to rectify these issues and put in place processes to prevent them from happening again in the future.
“As a result of the campaign, we’ve successfully recovered $142,953 in back-pay for 136 employees from 38 businesses.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman will continue its swoop on the Queensland region with three further campaigns targeting the Wide Bay and Ipswich regions, as well as the Fortitude Valley in Brisbane.
Ms James said that her agency would continue to educate employers in the Far North Queensland region on their obligations and encourage them to contact the agency for advice.
“The results of our recent National Compliance Monitoring Campaign showed vastly improved rates of compliance amongst businesses following interaction with my agency,” Ms James said.
“This shows that most employers are genuinely trying to do the right thing, and that the work that we are undertaking to educate employers about their workplace obligations is having a positive impact.”