Earlier this year the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) showed up unannounced to a Gold Coast restaurant after an anonymous tip off. The FWO found that the employer had been underpaying 22 employees, to a total of $54,470. The employer faced severe consequences, including an Enforceable Undertaking requiring him to pay back the employees and donate $25,000 to a local Community Legal Centre. Furthermore, the employer must pay for an external audit and workplace relation training.
This case is an example of how the FWO’s anonymous reporting tool is effectively targeting wrongdoing and protecting workers rights. The system enables individuals to report alleged breaches to the FWO, in a number of languages, without their identity being known. As this case shows, anonymous tip offs are taken seriously by FWO and can lead to serious consequences. Employers can contact M+E to ensure they are meeting their obligations.