23 June 2022

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker has announced the regulator’s strategic priorities for the year ahead, adding the universities sector, while a key focus remains supporting workers and businesses as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Ms Parker said the universities sector was a new compliance and enforcement priority after regular self-reports from universities of significant underpayments, including to casual workers.

“We are concerned about the allegations of long-running underpayments in many universities, with our current investigations finding trends of poor governance and management oversight, and a lack of centralised human resources functions and investment in payroll and time-recording systems. We expect to be taking high-level enforcement action against a number of universities this year, and urge all to prioritise their compliance,” Ms Parker said.
Fast food, restaurants and cafes and agriculture will be the key industries of focus in 2022-23.

"The FWO continues to find high levels of non-compliance in the fast food, restaurants and cafe sector, with many requests for assistance coming from vulnerable workers. That is why we will continue to undertake proactive investigations in metropolitan food precincts across the year,” Ms Parker said.

Read the full media release here.