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Fair Work Surprise Visit: Are You Ready?

Surprise visits from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) in Tasmania have businesses on edge. Recently, one of the businesses I work with had Fair Work Inspectors knocking on their door.

What if I'm not compliant?

If your business is not compliant, you (and your business) risks hefty penalties.

Here are some examples from just last month:

  • A hospitality business in Melbourne was fines $137,435 this month for record keeping breaches.

  • A health business faces a penalty of up to $107,850 (and its owner faces faces a penalty of up to $21,570) for staff underpayment and payslip law breach.

  • A Sydney landscaping business was fined $18,000 for underpaying one of their gardeners.

And if you think you're 'safe' in Tassie, you're not.

FairWork Inspectors paid a surprise visit to one of my clients, asking evidence of wage and record-keeping (of course, my client was all over it thanks to the work we'd done, and everyone walked away happy).

Who is at Risk?

Fair Work often targets specific industries:

  • Hospitality

  • Horticulture

  • Retail

  • Agriculture

  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability (SCHADS)

  • Age Care

Your business is not in one of these sectors? An inspector could still pay you a visit. Make sure you are not complacent, and be proactive.

How to Get Ready for It?

  1. Know your staff entitlements:

    • Enterprise Agreement

    • Award

    • National Employment Standards

    • Classification

    • Pay Rates

    • Penalties

    • Overtime rules

    • Allowances

  2. Understand record keeping obligations

  3. Conduct regular reviews

  4. Work on your culture: If your staff feel safe to approach you, they'll come to you before Fair Work does

  5. Fix any gaps

If you need help with:

  • Making your business compliant

  • Conducting record and practice audits

  • Identifying gaps and solutions

  • Educating your team on staff entitlements and building open communication,

I provide tailored support for your business needs.

Don't wait for a surprise Fair Work Audit—stay prepared, proactive, and compliant.

Stay tuned for more HR tips and subscribe


The content provided on this website serves as a general information resource on the subjects discussed, and should not be considered tailored to specific individual circumstances or a replacement for legal counsel. While we exert significant effort to ensure the accuracy of our information, HR Consulting TAS cannot ensure that all content on this website is consistently accurate, exhaustive, or current. Recommendations by HR Consulting TAS and any information acquired from this website should not be regarded as legal advice.

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