Fair Work Ombudsman tries to catch brothel owners with their pants down

The Fair Work Ombudsman will conduct an audit of 100 brothels in Victoria during the next four months as part of a compliance program.

This is just the latest audit of specific industries. In the past year, the industrial relations regulator has audited hundreds of businesses in different states, in industries such as healthcare and hospitality. It attempts to locate businesses which aren’t following specific industry guidelines.

The campaign will focus on the entitlements of clerical workers, including managers and receptionists. In a statement, the FWO said it will make sure clerical workers are being paid correct wages and overtime rates, along with other entitlements such as annual leave.

Similar to other audits, the FWO will also make sure employees aren’t being incorrectly categorised as contractors, thus missing out on important benefits.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully says this specific industry was targeted because it had received reports that clerical workers could be reluctant to complain about their conditions.

“We are also conscious that the industry employs many young workers and workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights,” Mr Scully said.

“It is important we ensure these workers are receiving their full lawful entitlements.”

While most of the targeted brothels are located in Melbourne, inspectors will also look into businesses in Bendigo, Geelong and Shepparton.

“If inspectors find minor or inadvertent contraventions, our preference will be to educate the employer and assist them to voluntarily rectify the issue,” he said.

Most recently, the FWO conducted an audit of record keeping among businesses in Tasmania. It found 61 out of 77 businesses complied with industry laws.




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