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Why are the Fair Work Commission targeting the Healthcare and Social Services Sector?

After a spate of breaches and fines, Fair Work is zeroing in on organisations including doctors’ surgeries and aged care facilities.
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Why are the Fair Work Commission targeting the Healthcare and Social Services Sector?

Why are the Fair Work Commission targeting the Healthcare and Social Services Sector?

30 June 2016

After a spate of breaches and fines, Fair Work is zeroing in on organisations including doctors’ surgeries and aged care facilities. Expect spot checks and random sweeps at businesses like yours.
 




 

Why this industry? Why now?

  • More than $7 million for 5300 underpaid employees has been recovered by the ombudsman in this industry over the past four years

  • Around 3000 people from the healthcare and social assistance sector call the Fair Work Ombudsman info line each month.

This workforce is vulnerable

  • Almost 1/3 of employees were born overseas

  • Nearly 80% are female

  • Almost half are 45 or older

  • It has more than 22,000 apprentices and trainees

  • Around 10,000 employees are overseas 457 visa-holders – mostly from the UK, India, Ireland and the Philippines

This Commission’s suspicions were well-founded

  • 43 healthcare and social assistance employers have received formal letters of caution about their workplace practices, putting them on notice that further contraventions may result in enforcement action

  • 8 have received on-the-spot fines for technical infringements.

Fair Work is spot-checking businesses to make sure you are:

  • Paying employees correctly

  • Providing appropriate meal breaks

  • Complying with record-keeping and pay-slip obligations

  • Doing the right thing by migrant workers

     

Practice managers, HR managers, payroll and administrative staff face on-the-spot personal fines if found liable for breaches the Fair Work Act 2009 including:

  • $540 per breach for an individual

  • $2700 per breach for your practice

 

Should your case be escalated by Fair Work Inspectors to court, this could cost you up to:

  • $10,800 per breach for your practice

  • $54,000 per breach for a body corporate

 
Not to mention the legal advice needed in the event of a breach, which can cost between $2,000 - $4,000 per day.
 

Did you know that penalty rates have changed recently...

Recently Fair Work increased the minimum fair wage by 2.4% to $17.70 which has come into effect on 1st July 2016.

This increase can cost business almost $1,000 per employee extra each year for employees who are covered under the relevant award. If you are found to be underpaying staff you will be fined including penalties for backpay.

Do you know if you are paying staff the right wage rate? Check if your workplace relations are above board through the 2 minute Risk Profiler



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