The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $368,666 for 102 underpaid security guards and supervisors after investigating companies engaged to provide security around Perth.
In July 2021, Fair Work Inspectors audited 13 security businesses to check their compliance with workplace laws, having received information including through anonymous reports and enquiries that there may be non-compliance.
From the 12 matters where investigations have concluded, inspectors found that nine businesses (75 per cent) were non-compliant.
Of the businesses in breach of workplace laws, eight had underpaid their workers and three had failed to meet pay slip and record-keeping requirements.
The most common breaches that inspectors found were failures to pay penalty rates, including weekend, shift, public holiday and other loading (seven businesses), followed by failures to pay overtime rates (five businesses).
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the audit results showed the security industry needed to sharpen its focus on its employment responsibilities.
“The high rate of non-compliance we found among these security businesses is a concern. In particular, employers were not meeting their obligations to pay penalty rates, which the law requires to compensate workers for working often unsociable hours when most of the community are not,” Ms Parker said.
“We expect all businesses to prioritise meeting their obligations so that workers are paid the right wages and entitlements in full.”
“The Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of free tools and resources to help employers get it right. Any workers with concerns about their wages should also contact us,” Ms Parker said.
In total, $368,666 was recovered from eight businesses for 102 employees after the FWO issued nine Compliance Notices. All underpaid employees were engaged as security guards or supervisors.
Amounts back-paid from individual businesses ranged from $159,940 for 17 employees to $55 for one employee.
There were two Infringement Notices issued for breaches of pay slip laws, resulting in $3,108 in fines paid.
One business remains under investigation.
All non-compliant businesses were advised that any future breaches may lead to higher-level enforcement action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.