The Fair Work Ombudsman has put new NDIS service providers and those in expanding growth areas on notice after a blitz recovered more than $42,000 in unpaid wages for more than 300 disability workers across NSW and Victoria.
“The FWO is concerned about the potential for non-compliance with Australian workplace laws among NDIS service providers due to rapid growth and increased competition from new, relatively inexperienced entrants to the sector,” the workplace watchdog said in a statement.
Fair Work inspectors investigated 27 businesses offering services including accommodation, domestic assistance, community activities and personal mobility equipment in Western Sydney, the NSW central and mid-north coasts, and inner-eastern Melbourne between September 2019 and July 2020.
Ten were ordered to backpay staff $41,838 and one was issued with a $1,200 fine.
The most common pay contraventions related to underpayment of the minimum wage, followed by underpayments of weekend penalty rates and failure to pay travel allowances. The ombudsman also found breaches of pay slip and record keeping requirements.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said inspectors targeted areas where there had been growth in NDIS provider numbers, and where more vulnerable workers were being employed.
“The FWO was concerned about the potential for non-compliance with workplace laws among NDIS service providers because of the sector’s rapid growth, with increased competition from new, relatively inexperienced employers,” Ms Parker said.
She said the investigation should serve as a reminder to new NDIS employers and those in expanding industries about the importance of complying with workplace laws.
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