Providers of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have been forced to cough up more than $43,000 after Fair Work Ombudsman investigations found hundreds of workers had been underpaid.
The FWO has recovered a total of $43,204 in unpaid wages to 322 employees, the Ombudsman revealed in a statement today.
Inspections across 27 NDIS scheme providers across NSW and Victoria found 11 businesses had underpaid workers and three businesses failed to correctly issue pay slips or keep records.
Most underpayments were because the minimum wage had not been paid, as well as failure to pay correct weekend penalty rates or travel allowances.
The contravening NDIS providers are located in Western Sydney; NSW’s Central Coast and Mid-North Coast; and inner-east Melbourne.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said inspectors homed in on areas where there had been a rapid growth in NDIS providers and where vulnerable workers might be employed.
“The FWO was concerned about the potential for non-compliance with workplace laws among NDIS service providers because of the sector’s rapid growth, with increased competition from new, relatively inexperienced employers,” Parker said.
New businesses, and those in industries that are growing rapidly, should be on notice about the importance of complying with workplace laws, she added.
FWO issued compliance notices to 10 businesses that saw $41,838 back paid to 315 workers, and issued an infringement notice of $1,200 to one business.
The businesses were warned that future breaches would result in tougher enforcement action.
Yahoo Finance has reached out to NDIS for contact.
Individuals and employers can reach out to the Fair Work Ombudsman by calling 13 13 94 or the fairwork.gov.au website.
Anonymous reports can be made through the website.