Pay packet audits by Fair Work yields fines and back pay.
The Fair Work Ombudsman takes a very dim view of underpaying staff especially young and vulnerable workers. Just look at the Ombudsman’s press releases in April and see just how serious Fair Work takes the correct payment of wages and entitlements. Some very high profile companies have had to fix up back pays for their workers and some paid large fines because the ombudsman determined they knowingly breached the law. Others have made simple small errors or missed a condition in the award but because of their size the underpayments significant: and the ombudsman unforgiving. Fair Work simply expects each business large or small to fully meet its obligations. If larger organizations with full time HR professionals struggle to get the detail right, how would you go if the ombudsman came to do an audit on your business. We know from experience the answer for most will be not very well.Just about everyone of our clients has made changes to their contracts, job descriptions, pay rates or conditions as a result of our HR Help Desk start up process. We begin each new client with our own records and documentation audit and in a recent case it saved them not from the ombudsman but from a Fair work Commissioner in an unfair dismissal. We and the client followed termination protocol to the letter and the termination stood: the employee then claimed she was paid incorrectly due to a dispute in her grading with a supervisor. The new Job description was very specific and the award conditions spot on: the claim was dismissed and the client ecstatic. So if you aren’t sure you will survive an audit from Fair Work then talk to an HR professional sooner rather than later. Its very painful if you get pay and conditions wrong.