Transport ranks high in workplace complaints

Complaints from transport workers to the Queensland workplace investigator continue to rise

By Brad Gardner | November 15, 2010

Workplace complaints from the transport sector in Queensland have continued to rise over a three-year period, according to the annual report of the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman (QWRO).

The report says 9.7 percent of the government department’s investigations last financial year stemmed from the transport industry, which ranked third in the highest proportion of cases.

The figure represents an almost 3 percent rise on the 2009 financial year, with the QWRO devoting 6.9 percent of all cases to the transport sector. According to the report, the figure was 5.49 in the 2008 financial year.

Hospitality (11.95 percent) and retail (8.58 percent) were the top two industries investigated last financial year, while most cases where the age of the person was known involved workers aged between 26 and 40 years.

The highest proportion of cases was in Brisbane (37.7 percent), while regional and rural areas such as Central Queensland were all under 10 percent.

The QWRO lists examples of investigations from last financial year, such as contractual disputes, bullying, unpaid entitlements and instances where people were encouraged to work without pay.

The agency also investigated complaints over working hours that caused fatigue, prompting the employer to alter shifts to improve conditions.

"The Ombudsman provides information and, if necessary, an opinion to the parties as to the fairness or otherwise of a situation and, in many instances, suggestions as to how workplace fairness might be restored," the report says.

"However unfairness in some cases is not rectified and the Ombudsman may decide to refer an element raised in the case to an appropriate body for determination or further investigation."

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