*2 min read

In the last 12 months, the Fair Work Ombudsman announced a crackdown on hair and beauty salons (plus retail spaces) after prior audits showed more than half of salons failed to comply with workplace laws. The Sydney Morning Herald quotes Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell, “In 2013, the Fair Work Ombudsman released the results of a national hair and beauty campaign, which identified an overall industry non-compliance rate of 55 percent.” (source)

With the power to issue on-the-spot fines to businesses that aren’t complying with the regulations, we’ve compiled all the need-to-know details.


When an Inspector comes knocking

It has been reported from salon owners across Sydney, that the FW inspectors are turning up at their premises and issuing fines for infringements. On-the-spot fines can reach up to $2550 and more serious matters can go to $51,000. Repaying these sum could seriously trouble a small business’ cash flow and your ability to continue trading.

When a FW inspector visits for an audit they are mainly looking at two things:

  • Payslips and record-keeping obligations
  • Paying employees their minimum entitlements, including minimum hourly rates, penalty rates and overtime rates.

These two things may be an issue for businesses that hire young (ie. tea and tidy jobs in salons) or seasonal workers who may not be aware of their workplace entitlements.


What happens during an audit?

Fair work inspector will mainly focus on compliance with a range of regulations, such as minimum wages, penalties, overtime rates, payslip obligations and record-keeping.

An employee’s records must:

  • Be readily accessible to an inspector
  • Be legible and in English
  • Be retained for seven years
  • Be unaltered – unless you’ve corrected a mistake
  • Not be false or misleading

You’ll need to keep up to date and complete records for the time worked and wages paid for all of your staff members. Setting up these processes is not a difficult task and with most payroll software, the process is automated and fully compliant with State legislation.


Who can I talk to?

A new hairdressers union has been formed under the AWU called Hair Stylists Australia. Their website is excellent and you can find out your rights, plus further information on pay, hours, leave and everything in between.

If you require more information or advice about your business’ practices, we strongly suggest you talk to the great folks at LegalVision. They have a number of fantastic resources and articles focusing on employer obligations and what you are required to pay an employee.

In order to discuss items directly related to your business, you can also arrange for a free one-hour consultation with one of their experienced business lawyer.


Who wrote this post… 

Altspc is an online space sharing platform that lives to help sole traders, micro & small businesses kick-arse and grow sustainably. Discover the lease-free way to rent out or book unused space by the hour, day, week or month.

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