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Medical workplaces underpaid workers 'more than $7000'

13 September, 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered more than $7000 in back-pay for underpaid employees at dental, orthodontic and medical rooms in South Australia.

Fair Work Inspectors audited 90 employers throughout the state and found that 62 employers (69 per cent) were compliant with workplace laws while 28 (31 per cent) were had breaches.

Most businesses in breach had only record-keeping and pay slip breaches but nine businesses, all located in the city, were found to have underpaid 11 reception, administration and support staff a total of $7060.

Natalie James, Fair Work Ombudsman, said dental, orthodontic and medical rooms in South Australia were targeted for an audit campaign because the sector had been the source of a number of sustained complaints.

James said the sector had also transitioned over the past few years to a Modern Award — the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 — and it was important to check that employers were aware of their obligations under the national workplace relations system.

"The campaign aimed to ensure employers are clear on their obligations under the Modern Award and that workers are receiving their full entitlements," James said.

"It was pleasing that all employers with non-compliance issues were receptive to Fair Work Inspectors assisting them to voluntarily back-pay staff and rectify other issues, without the need for further action.

"Inspectors also helped employers put processes in place to ensure they are meeting their obligations in future.

"Systems to ensure staff receive pay slips within 24 hours of payment are not only a legal requirement under workplace law, but important to allow workers to check that they’ve been paid for all work performed."

As part of the campaign, the Fair Work Ombudsman made employers aware of the free, tailored resources at to help them understand and comply with workplace laws.

Three information sessions were also held at the Australian Dental Association’s SA Branch earlier this year, with more than 75 employers attending.

Employers and workers seeking assistance should visit the website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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