Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James told a parliamentary committee today that her organisation is offering its workforce a pay rise of 1.25% over the next 12 months and 1% for each of the next two years, plus a 0.25% "unscheduled absence bonus" in the first year if sick leave can be reduced.
In one of the last wages and entitlements cases pursued by the FWBC, a building subcontractor that used a labour-hire company to distance itself from it employment obligations has been fined $145,000 and ordered to backpay $150,000 to more than a dozen workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has asked a Victorian Government agency to urgently review the way it engages workers, after an investigation revealed it might be "misclassifying" employees as independent contractors.
In a lucrative Christmas/New Year period for the Commonwealth's coffers, the Federal Circuit Court has handed down penalties amounting to more than $580,000 in eight separate cases brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman against companies and their directors for breaches of the Fair Work Act.
Advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman has prompted the Fair Work Commission to set up a full bench to iron out inconsistencies between modern award provisions and the national employment standards, as part of its 4-yearly review.
Young people and overseas workers together lodged more than a third of the 24,103 complaints the Fair Work Ombudsman received during 2013-2014, while the agency's significant online presence continued to grow, with11.7 million visits to its website during the year.
Supermarket giant Coles will conduct random wage audits of its trolley collection contractors, back pay 10 employees more than $220,000 and establish a $500,000 fund for any future underpayment claims, as part of an agreement with the Fair Work Ombudsman that acknowledges the company's "ethical and moral responsibility" to look after workers on its sites.
Giving teenage employees free and discounted pizzas and soft drink instead of wages – a practice belonging "in the dark ages rather than twenty first century Australia" – has cost a pizza franchise operator $335,000 in fines.
The construction watchdog's review of "cold cases" has identified another 14 cases where penalties were agreed through negotiation or discontinued, a Senate Estimates hearing has been told. Meanwhile, the Fair Work Ombudsman has rejected suggestions that it "washes its hands" of 457 visa complaints.