The days of claiming ignorance as an excuse for not complying with employee pay obligations are over, a principal has said in response to a probe by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Chris Lamont, principal at PRDnationwide at The Entrance, on the NSW Central Coast, was one of the 350 real estate principals and licensees who recently received an audit request from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The two-month audit campaign, which will focus on real estate agencies in NSW, is being conducted in response to concerns raised by key industry stakeholders that some employers are not complying with pay obligations to salespeople who receive commissions, Fair Work ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said.
“We have been contacted but we didn’t take it as anything problematic as we have a good office manager who ensures we are up to date and above board always,” he said.
“If anything, we have seen it as a slight inconvenience, but we know it won’t affect us past the paperwork.”
Fair Work said it has selected 120 real estate agents in metropolitan Sydney and 230 in regional NSW for the audit.
Mr Lamont believes the audit is a necessity for the real estate industry in order to flush out any wrong-doers.
“It is a very small percentage that don’t do what is right by their employees and if they don’t comply then there should be penalties,” he said.
“It is these 'shonks' that we need to get out of the business, so we welcome these audits."
“Businesses should be held accountable; you must have someone looking after the office that is up to date and informed with all statuary requirements,” Mr Lamont added.
“Ignorance is no longer an excuse.”