News

Farms under spotlight in Fair Work blitz

Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors will visit Bundaberg farms to ensure that seasonal workers are being paid their correct wages and entitlements.
Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors will visit Bundaberg farms to ensure that seasonal workers are being paid their correct wages and entitlements.

BUNDABERG farmers and labour-hire contractors will be visited by Fair Work inspectors today, to ensure seasonal workers on local fruit and vegetable farms are being paid their correct wages and entitlements.

Six inspectors from the Fair Work Ombudsman's regional services team will make unannounced site visits to local properties in response to persistent complaints and concerns about non-compliance with federal workplace laws.

Those visited will be asked to open their books, allowing inspectors to view records, with a particular emphasis on minimum pay rates, loadings and penalties.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said it was important employers in Bundaberg understood their workplace obligations.

"We have recently received information that suggests some of these workers may be being underpaid, so we intend to investigate and ensure that employers understand and are complying with their workplace obligations," she said.

Ms James said Bundaberg relied heavily on labour from working holiday makers, many of whom undertook seasonal harvest work to help qualify for a second-year visa.

"The first preference of Fair Work inspectors will be to work co-operatively with employers to assist them to correct any issues by agreement and put processes in place to ensure future compliance," she said.

"The knowledge we gain from these activities will help us to better direct our education and campaign activities, particularly in relation to the overseas workers employed in this sector."

If cases of serious non-compliance are found, Fair Work will consider enforcement measures such as issuing on-the-spot fines of up to $2550.

A decision to monitor workplace compliance in Bundy follows auditing in Caboolture last year, which found more than 150 seasonal workers had been short-changed about $133,000.

Ms James said Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Growcom and Bundaberg and Districts Chamber of Commerce had been enlisted to help Fair Work promote the need for compliance and a "level playing field" for all employers.

Pickers with questions about their pay, conditions or entitlements are encouraged to speak to Fair Work inspectors for free advice.

INFO BOOTH

In addition to field visits, inspectors will run an information booth at the Federal Backpackers Hostel on Bourbong St from 4.30-6pm on Tuesday.

Topics:  bundaberg fair work ombudsman farm workers



St Luke's welcomes new leader

SCHOOL'S IN: St Luke's Anglican School's new principal Craig Merritt is looking forward to making connections in the community.

Craig Merritt takes the lead as the new principal

PHOTOS: Have a look inside revamped Alloway club

AT THE VENUE: Eden Wickens and Steffanie Marschke.

If a change is as good as a holiday, then have one in Alloway

Irukandji symptoms and what you need to do if stung

FIRST AID: Irukandji - Irrigate sting with vinegar for up to 30 seconds, call an ambulance.

Irukandji affects people differently.

Local Partners

Nurse says Blue Care 'don't care about staff' at Millbank

MILLBANK Village staff members remain angry, are distressed and feel deceived over Blue Care's decision to downsize the aged care facility.”


Celebrations to deliver flavours of China

YEAR OF THE ROOSTER: Councillor Judy Peters, Dylan Carter as Buddha), Tina Yuanyuan, Lilly Matthews and the PCYC Blazers dragons are gearing up for Chinese New Year.

Tea ceremony and old favourites at annual event

What's happening in Bundy today?

Things to do in Bundaberg today.

A list of five things happening around the region today.

50 Shades actress on why she hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

What a year 2016 proved to be

Entrance Island, Birtinya

Get the inside info from the agents themselves

REVEALED: What Coast wants in an international airport

Sunshine Coast business people share their views on what's needed

Time for a cool change

43 Eckersley Ave, Buderim.

Family home goes to the auction floor

Designer home set in lush tropical gardens

This home has it all and more

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!