The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has highlighted the important role that anonymous tip-offs play in keeping workplaces lawful, with thousands of tip-offs received about workplaces practices.

The FWO has received more than 90,000 anonymous tip-offs since it launched its Anonymous Report tool in 2016, with almost 13,000 in 2021-22.

Anyone can make a tip-off. In addition to tip-offs from members of the public, anonymous reporting provides an option for vulnerable workers to raise issues with the FWO while choosing not to identify themselves.

This includes options to provide anonymous reports directly in 16 languages other than English. In 2021-22, reports in Simplified Chinese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese were the most common after English.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said tip-offs provided valuable intelligence.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman uses intelligence from tip-offs to help gain insight into Australian workplaces, shape our education materials and inform compliance activities,” Parker said.

“They are a vital tool in helping us to monitor for workplace breaches and take targeted action where needed.

“We encourage anyone – worker, manager, family member or member of the public – to use our Anonymous Report tool to share concerns.”

In a pointer to this industry FWO said that in 2021-22, most anonymous tip-offs came from the hospitality industry (which includes fast food, restaurant and café outlets), retail industry and health support services industry.

The most common issues reported were working excessive hours without compensation, workers being paid ‘cash in hand’, or workers being paid less than an industry award or the National Minimum Wage.

Employers or employees that need direct help with pay or entitlements issues and can provide their details should contact the FWO online or via phone.

Employers and employees can visit, including My Account, or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Information on what are ordinary hours of work, reasonable extra hours and when overtime rates apply can be found at Hours of work. Information on the requirement to provide written pay slips can be found at Pay slips.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au  or find us on Facebook .

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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