Wageline News: February 2020

In this edition:

  • Nail salons audit finds widespread underpayment
  • Over $300,000 recovered for WA workers in six months
  • Anzac Day public holiday employment entitlements
  • Reporting wage theft in WA

Nail salons audit finds widespread underpayment

One in four nail salons were found to be non-compliant with state employment laws in a proactive compliance audit undertaken by industrial inspectors at Private Sector Labour Relations.

The major breach identified was underpayment of wages, with some salons paying rates of pay below the State minimum wage.  A total of $50,441.68 was recovered from the 26 non-compliant nail salons for 55 employees.

In one example, a nail salon owner had been paying three adult casual employees a flat daily rate of $120 to $170 per day, which equated to $15 to $20 per hour based on the number of hours the employees had worked.  At the time the minimum casual adult rate of pay was $22.95 per hour.  One employee had been underpaid a total of $7,712; the highest underpayment recovered for a single employee over the campaign.

A graphic snapshot of the campaign is below and the full campaign results are in the Evaluation report – Employment obligations in nail salons proactive compliance campaign

Over $300,000 recovered for WA workers in six months

Industrial inspectors from Private Sector Labour Relations recovered a total of $344,537 in unpaid wages and entitlements in the second half of 2019.

Successful conciliation of underpayment matters has resulted in significant amounts of unpaid long service leave entitlements being recovered for Western Australian workers. Between July and December 2019, industrial inspectors recovered a total of $155,149 in unpaid entitlements arising from 34 long service leave underpayment complaints made by employees to Private Sector Labour Relations.

This six month period has seen 146 proactive compliance audits carried out by industrial inspectors.

To date, industrial inspectors working on the current café and restaurant proactive compliance campaign have audited 58 state system businesses. Of these, over 80% of businesses were found to be non-compliant with state employment laws, and a total of $55,377 in unpaid wages has been recovered for employees. The largest amount recovered from one restaurant totalled $31,790 for eight employees.

Visit the Wage theft website to report wage theft in Western Australia. For help to resolve an individual issue of underpayment, visit the Making a complaint about underpayment of wages or entitlements page.

The Long service leave page on the Wageline website contains extensive information on long service leave entitlements.

Anzac Day public holiday employment entitlements

Under the Western Australia Public and Bank Holidays Act 1972, Anzac Day takes place on 25 April, but when that day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the next following Monday is also a public holiday.

In 2020, Anzac Day falls on Saturday 25 April. Subsequently, Saturday 25 April and Monday 27 April are both public holidays in Western Australia. However, employees in the state industrial relations system will generally only be entitled to public holiday entitlements for one of these days, depending on award coverage.

If you are covered by the state industrial relations system, the Anzac Day 2020 public holiday page contains information on entitlements for:

  • award free employers and employees
  • Shop and Warehouse (Wholesale and Retail Establishments) Award,
  • Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award
  • Hairdressers Award.

For information on other WA awards, please view the WA award summaries or contact Wageline on 1300 655 266.

Employers and employees in the national industrial relations system should visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website www.fairwork.gov.au for information on public holiday employment entitlements.

Reporting wage theft in WA

Western Australian workers can visit the wage theft website at www.wagetheft.wa.gov.au for assistance with how to:

  • seek help with resolving an underpayment issue or unpaid annual or long service leave;
  • report wage theft anonymously to the relevant government department; or
  • seek help with unpaid superannuation.

Visit www.wagetheft.wa.gov.au for more information

Wageline enquiries

Wageline can answer questions on WA awards and employment laws for state system employers and employees.

Wageline’s opening hours are:

  • 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
  • ​10am to 4.30pm Wednesdays
  • Telephone: 1300 655 266

National Relay Service: 13 36 77