Complaints received from underpaid fruit pickers
A FAIR Work Ombudsman spokesman has confirmed the fruit-picking industry has been a persistent source of underpayment complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman in a number of regions across Australia in recent years.
"This includes the Bundaberg region, where the Fair Work Ombudsman has resolved a number of complaints by assisting employers to voluntarily back-pay underpaid workers," he said.
"The Fair Work Ombudsman is conscious that fruit pickers working in Australia include many young workers and foreign workers who can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights. The best defence for any worker is an awareness of their workplace rights."
For that reason, the spokesman said, the Fair Work Ombudsman was proactive about ensuring workers were aware of their rights and fully aware that they could turn to the Fair Work Ombudsman for free advice and assistance.
"Information about workplace laws specifically tailored to workers and employers in the horticulture industry is available online at www.fairwork. gov.au," he said.
"Any worker who is concerned they have been treated unfairly or is seeking information about minimum entitlements under workplace laws can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance.
"Complaints can be made confidentially and a free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50."