Construction companies under scrutiny

HUNDREDS of construction businesses will be audited as part of a national campaign by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work inspectors will check that employers are paying the correct minimum hourly rates, penalty and overtime rates and allowances.

Compliance with record-keeping and pay slip obligations and other workplace laws will also be monitored.

Deputy Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell said the campaign aimed to ensure the wages and conditions of workeers, in particular apprentices, were upheld.

Last year, the Fair Work Ombudsman received more than 2000 complaints and identified workplace contraventions in about 50 per cent of cases.

"While our focus is on ensuring employees receive their lawful wages and entitlements, we want to understand the underlying causes of non-compliance in the construction industry," Mr Campbell said.

Up to 700 businesses in every capital city and selected regional areas will be earmarked for auditing at random, with some site visits planned.

Both residential and commercial builders will be monitored, as well as electricians, plumbers, painters and decorators, tilers and carpenters, bricklayers, concreters, landscapers and plasterers.

Inspectors can issue on-the-spot fines of up to $2550.

Tools to help employers understand and comply with their responsibilities can be found at http://www.fairwork.gov.au.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit the website or phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.



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