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15/11/2018

The Fair Work Ombudsman will audit 600 businesses in the Northern Rivers region of NSW as part of its latest compliance campaign.

Targeted areas include Lismore, Richmond Valley, Ballina, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.

Inspectors are auditing businesses across a range of sectors, including accommodation and food services, retail, manufacturing and healthcare and social assistance.

The Northern Rivers region was selected because young workers are overrepresented in workplace disputes in the area, accounting for 24.8% of disputes but only 17.8% of the working population.

The region’s workforce also has the fourth-highest percentage of mature-aged workers nationally (29.5%), who may face vulnerabilities relating to age discrimination and job security.

The accommodation and food services sector is amongst the largest employing industries in the region.

Fair Work inspectors will check that employers are complying with their legal obligations. Including paying employees their lawful minimum wages and entitlements under the Fair Work Act, National Employment Standards and relevant Modern Awards.

Inspectors will also check compliance with record-keeping and pay-slip obligations.

The maximum penalties for failing to keep employee records or issue pay slips have doubled to $63,000 for a company and $12,600 for an individual, and the maximum penalty for knowingly making or keeping false or misleading employee records has tripled to $12,600 for an individual.

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