East coast hair and beauty salons along with retail outlets are the focus of a crackdown by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Audits of roughly 1,600 randomly selected businesses in urban and regional areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will be inspected.
The campaign will be conducted in two phases, with audits to be conducted in waves. Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell said the first phase was already underway and the campaign would take approximately 12 months to complete.
“The retail, hair and beauty sectors have been selected for audit because they employ high numbers of workers, particularly young people and workers from migrant backgrounds,” Mr Campbell said.
“In addition, previous audits into hair and beauty businesses and the retail industry have found high levels of non-compliance.
“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 per cent.
“Victoria recorded the highest rate of non-compliance with almost three quarters of salon operators audited not meeting their obligations under workplace laws,” Mr Campbell said.
According to a Fair Work press release, the new hair, beauty and retail campaign will build on the organisation’s previous work to reinforce that all businesses need to meet their obligations under Australian workplace laws.
This isn’t the first time this year the beauty industry has come under scrutiny by a government agency. The Australian Taxation Office announced early last month that it will be randomly inspecting small beauty businesses as part of an ongoing illegal cash-in-hand payment eradication.
It was reported that ATO officers with Asian language skills were visiting salons in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and Adelaide, with the government entity estimating 58 per cent of the businesses in the hair and beauty industry is cash only.