Over 2012-13, FWBC received 1657 enquiries with 972 enquires or 59 per cent being received via the 1800 hotline.

Issues raised by enquiries

A single enquiry can often involve a number of issues. Table 2.2 shows a breakdown of the issues that were raised through enquiries during the year.

During 2012-13, the highest number of enquires FWBC received related to wages and entitlements, accounting for 18 per cent of all enquiries and reflects FWBC’s activities on recovering unpaid wages and entitlements for workers. Building Code enquiries, accounted for 12 per cent of enquiries. While FWBC was only in operation for one month of the 2011-12 financial year, the current financial year data is consistent with the data from last year when averaged over a period of twelve months.

TABLE 2.1 NUMBER AND METHOD OF ENQUIRY TO FWBC

Enquiry

1 July 2012 to
30 June 2013

FWBC hotline

972

Direct enquiry to FWBI Inspector

256

FWBC website

148

FWBC email

124

Workplace complaint form

27

FWO AVR process

25

Mail

7

Fax

2

Other

96

Total

1657

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 2.2 ISSUES RAISED BY ENQUIRIES

Enquiry Issues

1 June 2012 to
30 June 2012

1 July 2012 to
30 June 2013

Wages and entitlements

20

333

Agreements

2

24

Code or code compliance

22

212

Coercion

6

28

Discrimination

3

9

Domestic building

8

54

Fair Work Act general protections

2

165

Freedom of association

1

39

General FWBC information

18

230

Independent contractor

10

115

Industrial action

5

138

Licensing / permits

3

6

OHS

2

33

Other

10

136

Other federal agency

6

92

Other state agency

5

47

Right of entry

5

81

Strike pay

1

9

Targeted audit

0

12

Union behaviour

17

83

Total

146

1846

 

TABLE 2.3 ENQUIRY OUTCOMES

Enquiry outcomes

Number

Information provided

973

Referred to other agency

35

Referred to federal agency

152

Referred to state agency

82

Unable to provide assistance

57

Upgrade to investigation

351

Initiated targeted audit

7

Total

1657

Responding to enquiries

During the reporting period, FWBC responded to 91 per cent of enquiries within three working days.

Activities generated by enquiries

Table 2.3 sets out the outcome of enquiries. In 59 per cent of cases FWBC answered the enquiry through the provision of information. Twenty-one per cent of enquiries led to an investigation and FWBC referred 16 per cent of enquiries to other agencies.

TABLE 2.4 INFORMAL REFERRALS

Informal referrals

1 June 2012 to
30 June 2012

1 July 2012 to
30 June 2013

State Agencies: domestic building, licensing

7

39

Code assessment and website

2

36

OHS Agencies: safety, OHS training cards ‘red’, etc

2

17

Workplace agencies: wages, unlawful or unfair employment

2

10

Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO)

2

79

Long service leave

0

9

Subcontractors payment (subject to state law), riggers, crane licensing

1

14

Australian Apprenticeships Referral Line

0

8

Employer associations

0

3

Australian Tax Office (ATO)

2

7

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

0

2

Other

1

45

Total

19

269

 

 

TABLE 2.5 FORMAL REFERRALS

Formal referrals

1 July 2012 to
30 June 2013

Referrals to the FWO

1

Referrals to the ATO regarding non-payment or underpayment of superannuation

8

Referrals to Workcover NSW regarding workplace health and safety issues

1

Qld office state revenue referral

1

Referral to Magistrates’ Court of Victoria – Small Claims Tribunal (Industrial Division)

1

Total

12

 

Informal referrals

Enquiries that are beyond FWBC’s jurisdiction are categorised as informal if they are referred before an investigation has started.

Table 2.4 sets out details of the informal referrals FWBC made to 30 June 2013. FWBC referred 269 enquiries to other state and federal agencies during the reporting period. The majority of these were referred to the FWO as they related to domestic building (where the complainant works on projects where there are fewer than five dwellings) as opposed to commercial construction.