A third of NSW construction companies breached law: audit

The Workplace Ombudsman said its federal inspectors checked the books of 272 construction businesses throughout the Sydney metropolitan area and found that 83 employers (or 31%) were non-compliant, mostly because of minor record-keeping and pay slip breaches.Workplace Ombudsman NSW director Ross Drysdale says $22,000 in back pay has been recouped for 88 employees who were inadvertently underpaid.Drysdale said the underpayments were the result of a small number of employers failing to pass on the October 2008 increase in the federal minimum wage or to pay other casual loadings. He said his office decided to take no further action against the companies because employers had been quick to voluntarily rectify all issues.“This campaign has identified a high level of compliance and most employers had good record-keeping practices,” Drysdale said.“However, employers should be aware that we take breaches of workplace laws seriously. Employers can be penalised up to $33,000 per breach if the matter proceeds to court.“We will be conducting further audits in the NSW construction industry in the future.”

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