The Fair Work Ombudsman will be checking the staff and wage records of independent retailers in Melbourne’s inner suburbs at random as part of a new education and compliance campaign.

Up to 200 retailers in Melbourne’s CBD, North Melbourne, Carlton, Abbotsford, Richmond, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Docklands will be audited on the entitlements paid to casual staff, reflecting a constant flow of complaints from young, casual retail staff.

Inspectors will also check employers are keeping appropriate records and providing staff with pay slips which include the required information, such as hours worked and pay rates applicable to all hours worked.

As well as checking wages, Inspectors will ensure employers are complying with minimum engagement periods and providing new workers with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement, which gives workers details of how they can resolve issues around pay and conditions.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said the campaign provides a great opportunity for employers to improve their understanding of workplace laws.

“It is important that businesses get it right when it comes to record-keeping, pay slip obligations and minimum pay rates” he  said.

“For example, failure to issue pay slips denies employees the opportunity to check that their entitlements are being met.

“Employers also need to be aware that even a small error in payments to staff, if left unchecked for a long period, can lead to a significant underpayment.”

In cases where underpayments are identified, Fair Work Inspectors will work with employers to ensure any money owed is repaid to staff.
Educating employers about the range of free tools and resources available at will be a major part of the campaign. Online resources include pay slip and time-and-wages sheets templates as well as tools for determining correct rates of pay for employees, such as PayCheck Plus.