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Fair Work Ombudsman to audit Victorian bakeries

23 September, 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman is targeting Victorian bakeries in its latest campaign to ensure workers are being paid correctly.

Fair Work inspectors will audit 160 independent and franchisee-operated retail bakeries throughout Melbourne and regional areas.

As well as checking that workers are being paid correctly, Inspectors will ensure employers are maintaining appropriate records and providing employees with pay slips.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said the retail bakery sector was selected for auditing because it had been a persistent source of complaints across Victoria, including a number of complaints from young workers.

"We are conscious that this industry employs a significant number of young workers, often as apprentices and who might be working their first job. They can be vulnerable to exploitation because they're often not aware of their workplace entitlements or where to go for information and assistance," James said.

"It's the job of the Fair Work Ombudsman to make sure these workers are getting what they're entitled to.

"It's also really important that staff receive a pay slip within 24 hours of being paid. Apart from being a legal requirement, it allows employees to check for themselves that they've been paid the correct rates for all hours worked."

Bakeries across regional Victoria will be covered by the campaign, including in Ararat, Ballarat, Bendigo, Colac, Daylesford, Echuca, Geelong, Gisborne, Horsham, Inverloch, Lorne, Mansfield, Mildura, Mornington Peninsula, Ocean Grove, Phillip Island, Shepparton, Sale, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Yarrawonga.

James said a key focus of the campaign would be to ensure bakery owners understand their obligations under the General Retail Industry Award 2010.

"Where Fair Work Inspectors identify issues such as underpayments to staff, they'll work with the employer to help them voluntarily rectify underpayments and direct them to free resources at www.fairwork.gov.au that can help them meet their obligations in the future," James said.

"A key role of the Fair Work Ombudsman is to help employers understand and meet their obligations – and that's what we'll be doing throughout this campaign."

www.fairwork.gov.au/retailbakeries has information about the campaign and also provides links to the range of free resources on the Fair Work Ombudsman's website, such as templates for pay slips and time-and-wages sheets and tools for determining correct rates of pay.