The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has announced its strategic priorities for 2022-23 including where audit and enforcement activities will be undertaken in relation to wage underpayments.

Due to the high evidence of non-compliance, the FWO will undertake proactive investigations of the following sectors:

  • Universities
  • Fast food
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Agricultural employers

Additionally, investigating the risk of underpayments at large corporates also remains a priority.

The universities sector was added as a priority for FY23 after regular voluntary disclosures of underpayments by many institutions, and vulnerable workers within the food and beverage industry continue to make claims to the regulator for assistance.

Through its compliance and enforcement activities, the regulator has found trends of poor governance and management oversight, and a lack of centralised human resources functions and investment in payroll and time-recording systems in these particular focus industries.

Understanding complex Modern Awards and pay compliance continues to be a pain point for many organisations. Without adequate controls and monitoring in place, employers are at risk of underpaying their staff which would eventuate in significant fines to the organisation from the regulator.

It is important that all organisations take proactive steps to ensure their workforce is appropriately paid. Whether it’s undertaking an initial health check or facilitating a more formalise pay remediation program, our team has deep experience in supporting our clients through robust pay compliance reviews to fit your needs.