Following on from their Health Care and Social Assistance campaign, launched late in 2015, the Fairwork Ombudsman will conduct an audit of up to 600 employers in these areas in 2016.

In the last three financial years, the FWO has taken the following actions against employers in the health care and social assistance industries:

• 43 formal letters of caution regarding workplace practices were issued to employers;
• Seven matters were taken to court for prosecution; and
• Eight employers received on-the-spot fines for infringements.

The FWO has indicated that the focus of the campaign is to ensure employers of reception and administrative staff in general practice and specialist practices are meeting their wage rate and record keeping obligations.  It is estimated that around 200 practices will be assessed by FWO inspectors.

Practices that are selected by the FWO to participate in the campaign will be directed to provide employee time and wages records for a recent pay period. Where an employer has more than 25 employees, they will be requested to provide a representative sample of no fewer than 10 employees. This sample should include (where applicable to the practice) a range of different employee classifications and employment types (full-time, part-time and casual) and must include all 457 visa employees.

The time and wages records for the selected recent pay period will need to specifically include the following information:
• Payroll advice records or pay slips which clearly state amounts paid to employees, including base hourly rates of pay (or salary), loadings, penalties and allowances;
• A sample payslip, which the FWO will assess against the payslip requirements prescribed in the Fair Work Regulations 2009.  Compliance with payslip requirements will be one of the main areas of focus during the campaign, and FWO inspectors will have the discretion to issue on-the-spot fines for breaches;
• Attendance records (i.e. time sheets and rosters) showing hours worked by employees, including any overtime;
• Records of any hours where employees attended training sessions or staff meetings (note: inspectors will be looking to see that employees are being paid for these meetings if they are held outside an employee’s ordinary working hours);
• Copies of any Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs) made with employees; and
• Copies of any apprenticeship or traineeship agreements.

Members who are contacted by the Ombudsman regarding an audit of their practices and who require advice or assistance are encouraged to contact ADAQ, either by phone (07 3252 9866) or by email (adaq@adaq.com.au).

For more details of the campaign, please visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website, here.