Fair Work audit nets workers $50,500 back-pay

MORE than 80 Queensland clothing industry workers have been back-paid a total of $50,500 after a Fair Work Ombudsman audit of 171 manufacturers, including in Gympie and nearby districts.

Businesses at Cooroy, Eumundi, Gympie and Hervey Bay were included in the businesses audited for compliance with workplace laws.

The workplace regulator released the findings yesterday, showing 71% of employers were compliant with the law and paying staff correctly. The rest had a combination of record-keeping, pay slip and underpayment breaches.

Ombudsman Michael Campbell said Fair Work inspectors had checked the books of businesses across the state, from Mackay to Brisbane.

"The audits were prompted by complaints from within the industry, raising concerns that many workers may be unaware of their rights or reluctant to complain," he said.

"Complex supply chain structures can mean outworkers don't know who their actual employer is, or they may be reluctant to complain for fear of losing orders and so these workers are vulnerable to exploitation."

Mr Campbell said a common cause of record keeping problems was employers unaware of their obligations rather than deliberately avoiding them.

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