FAIR WORK OMBUDMSAN By Chris Delaney*
“All men make mistakes but only wise men learn from their mistakes” – Winston Churchill. One wonders how many wise men are left in the security industry. Last year the officers of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) spoke at every ASIAL State breakfast meeting outlining the responsibilities of employers under the Fair Work Act and announcing a national targeted audit campaign into the security industry. ASIAL wrote to members detailing how the campaign would run and what to expect. The campaign wound up in December 09/January 2010 and many in the industry didn’t fair very well. In a meeting recently with Bill Loizides Group Manager Field Operations (FWO) it was clear that the results of the campaign indicated a very high rate of non compliance in the manpower sector of the industry. In fact less than 50% of those employers audited were compliant and $677,000 of underpaid wages was recovered for 803 workers. It was also clear that the industry has real problems. There are things employers shouldn’t do, for example: • Don’t pay flat rates of pay • Don’t pay “cash in Hand” • Don’t have sham contracting arrangements • Don’t get involved in “phoenixing” your business to avoid your responsibilities • Don’t think you won’t get caught.
ASIAL and The Fair Work Ombudsman is committed to: • Continuing education and awareness activity in the security sector • Continuing random audits and acting on genuine complaints ASIAL is developing a simple guide to understanding the Security Award 2010 and the National Employment Standards (which apply to all employers). Later in the year we expect, in conjunction with the FWO to run another full scale education campaign across Australia, via internet and through publications for both members and non members in a further effort to improve compliance. The responsibility lays with you the employer. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, and frankly with all of the resources available to members through ASIAL and the FWO no employer can argue that they just didn’t know what they should do. The FWO sees it in fairly simple terms – • If you can demonstrate that you have genuinely attempted to know your responsibilities, joined a registered industry organization (like ASIAL), sought advice and assistance and made a genuine mistake and fix it – they will help you. • Deliberately or through sheer neglect, fail to meet your responsibilities and you will be prosecuted and fined.
The following is a simple overview of what employers should know about the new modern awards, the National Employment Standards and the transitional provisions which will come into effect from 1 July 2010. This is new legislation and there are still some matters to be determined by Fair Work Australia and interpreted by the Fair Work Ombudsman. As these matters are resolved we will advise members via the ASIAL website www.asial.com.au. The private security industry nationally now has three core national awards covering workers. These awards came into effect on 1 January 2010, while changes to Rates of pay, Penalties and Casual loadings will take effect from 1 July 2010. The Security Services Industry Award 2010. This award covers: patrolling, protecting, screening, watching or guarding any people and/or property, including cash or other valuables, by physical or electronic means, crowd or venue control, control room operations, loss prevention and traffic management (as part of airport security). This new award will bring with it significant changes to the way shift penalties (among other matters) are applied and calculated. The Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Industry Award 2010 covers (amongst other
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42 //SECURITY INSIDER JUN/JUL 2010
Published on Jun 12, 2010
Bi-Monthly SecurityI ndustry Magazine published by Australia's Largest Security Industry Organisation - ASIAL. Designed by Martin at Webfx2...