The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced in a media release today that the food services and accommodation industry remains high on its list for enforcement action, in an effort to drive behavioural change and improve work conditions in the industry.
The food services and accommodation industry accounted for 40 percent of Enforceable Undertakings the Fair Work Ombudsman entered with employers last financial year.
An employer signs an Enforceable Undertaken when it has breached the law, and accepts responsibility and agrees to co-operate with the Ombudsman to fix the issue as an alternative to legal proceedings.
Out of the 43 Enforceable Undertakings signed in 2015-16:
- 17 were employers in the food services and accommodation sector.
- Fast food and take-away businesses represent almost 20 percent of all Enforceable Undertakings in the food and accommodation industry.
- Small businesses – those with 15 or fewer employees – made up 52 percent of Enforceable Undertakings signed.
- Workers under 30 years old account for two-thirds of all disputes resulting in an Enforceable Undertaking.
- Disputes lodged by visa-holders accounted for 35 percent of Enforceable Undertakings executed.
In 2015-16, a total of $3.85 million in underpaid wages and entitlements was returned to 2132 employees as a result of their employers entering into Enforceable Undertakings with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
These findings have come out of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s national hospitality campaign which commenced in 2012. The Fair Work Ombudsman’s National Hospitality Campaign revealed only a 52 percent compliance rate with workplace laws.