Lodging Staff Pay Agreements In Queensland

Australian real estate companies are increasingly complying with workplace laws, according to a statement released recently by the federal Fair Work department.

According to Fair Work’s figures more than 80 per cent of employers in Queensland's real estate industry are now complying with the laws by lodging staff pay agreements.

It's a requirement in Queensland for real estate industry employers to lodge a written agreement with the Queensland Property Industry Registry (QPIR) for all staff identified as property/strata management or property sales employees. The agreements must state how the employees will be paid.

The QPIR is an organisation representing both employers and employees, working with those involved in real estate in Cairns and Queensland to prioritise flexibility and productivity in the workplace.

This year, inspectors completed audits of 279 employers across Queensland's real estate industry, and found that 230 of them had lodged written pay agreements for staff with the QPIR.

The results of the most recent audit showed big improvements from the last one, which took place in 2011. At that time, only 48 per cent  of employers had lodged agreements.

In tandem with the audits, Fair Work recently contacted a number of real estate employers to make sure they were aware of their obligations under such workplace laws.

The awareness campaign focused on real estate agents, business and hotel brokers, buyers’ agencies and real estate valuation agent, strata and community title management businesses, and stock and station agents.

"It is particularly pleasing that we revisited 50 employers that were in contravention in 2011 and found that all of them are now compliant," said acting Fair Works ombudsman, Michael Campbell.

"It reinforces that our inspectors’ approach of working cooperatively with employers to educate them about their obligations and assist them to put processes in place to ensure ongoing compliance is having a positive impact."

Many underpayment complaints from real industry workers in the region come from those whose employers have not lodged payment agreements with the QPIR, so employers are protecting themselves from many potential grievances by taking this simple step.

"Employers who fail to lodge agreements are at greater risk of underpaying their employees," said Mr Campbell.

"By ensuring employers are complying with the requirement to lodge agreements, we are aiming to prevent underpayments and pay disputes before they occur."