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Fair Work Ombudsman Cracks Down on Childcare


Childcare operators across Australia are bracing for scrutiny as the Fair Work Ombudsman takes action over a high number of complaints. Of the 400 workers’ complaints fielded over the past year (FY 12/13) the majority related to wage disputes, underpayments are largely due to “misclassification” of employees or wrong termination payments.The FWO will target 300 childcare centers nationally for detailed audits from September/October, in a crackdown on wages and record-keeping.

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Long day care centres will be the key focus of the Childcare Fairwork campaign, along with preschools, after-school care and occasional care centres. Inspectors will check that centres are correctly classifying staff, keeping proper records and providing pay slips. Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said all 14,000 private childcare centres across Australia would be receiving written correspondence to advise them of their obligations.

There are over 15,000 early childhood services operating in Australia from in-home early childhood services to large-scale operators, employing around 140,000 people, of which 96% are female and about 25% are aged under 24 years old.

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