SOUTH-WEST Victoria has been earmarked as one of five state regions targeted for a Fair Work Ombudsman audit of horse trainers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman will audit up to 90 horse racing trainers from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland over the next three months.
Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said the horse racing indutry was selected for auditing because it had been the source of dozens of complaints over the past two years, with most cases involving underpayment of stablehands.
Inspectors will check that trainers are paying workers in line with minimum wage and penalty rates and complying with record-keeping and pay slip obligations.
There will be a focus on ensuring stablehands and strappers are being paid correctly.
“Where audits reveal contraventions, the preference of Fair Work Inspectors will be to assist employers to voluntarily rectify their issues and put processes in place to ensure future compliance,” Wilson said.
“This campaign is an ideal opportunity for employers in the horse racing industry to ensure they understand their obligations under workplace laws and are paying their stablehands correctly.
“If small errors in wages and entitlements are left unchecked they can mount up and become significant back-payments of thousands of dollars. This is why it’s important that employers ensure they get it right the first time around.”
About 30 trainers will be selected at random for audit in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Victorian Regions identified for audit include Melbourne, Bellarine Peninsula, East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsula and South-Western Victoria
Interstate, the ombudsman has nominated Sydney and the Hunter, Orange/Dubbo, North Coast and South Coast regions, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Mackay and Toowoomba.
Workers and employers seeking advice can visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.