The SDA has signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman on behalf of its 220,000 members aimed at creating and maintaining fair workplaces and a level playing field for all workplace participants.
It is the first MoU the Fair Work Ombudsman has entered into with a trade union.
The MoU will focus on promoting education and compliance in the various industries covered by the SDA including retail, fast food, and hairdressing.
Deputy Fair Work Ombudsman operations, Michael Campbell, welcomed the SDA’s commitment to collaboration and exchange of information, saying it was pleasing to see the two parties working together to build a culture of compliance.
SDA national secretary, Gerard Dwyer, said the union had a strong working relationship with the Fair Work Ombudsman and it was pleasing to formalise it through the MoU.
“The MoU provides both parties with the opportunity to meet and exchange information on employment conditions within a number of specified industries,” Dwyer said.
“Of particular importance to the SDA is the ability to raise issues in sectors where we have experienced underpayments and compliance breaches.
“As a union which represents many vulnerable workers, we are keen to explore how employees, particularly in smaller workplaces, can ensure their legal entitlements are properly observed.
“It is also in the interests of good employers that those few who are prepared to undercut legal minimums are held to account. Competition should be driven by quality and service, not by an unfair advantage on wages,” Dwyer said.
The Fair Work Ombudsman will provide information and feedback to the SDA about investigations and targeted campaign activities which promote compliance within industries where SDA members are represented.
In return, the SDA will provide information to the Fair Work Ombudsman that provides a critical evidence base for its compliance and enforcement activities involving serious non-compliance.
As part of the MoU, the Fair Work Ombudsman has appointed a dedicated member of staff to work with SDA representatives and respond to the needs of their membership.
MoUs are an opportunity for the Fair Work Ombudsman to work together with large trade union and employer organisations to build productive, compliant and inclusive workplaces.