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Tuesday, 31 August 1920

Mr BLUNDELL (Adelaide) .- I move -

That the following new clause be added: - " 16. Every employer shall -

(a)   make and keep a true record in such form and giving such particulars as may be prescribed of the names, work, time worked, and wages of the persons employed, and the age of every such person under twenty-one years of age;

(b)   produce such record for inspection whenever demanded by an authorized person pursuant to section 41 of the principal Act;

(c)   affix and keep affixed in legible characters in some conspicuous place so as to be easily read by his employees a notice containing a copy of the industrial award."

The Minister has amended section 41 of the principal Act to provide that the person authorized by the Registrar shall have the right to inspect documents and so forth. The proposed new clause will make it necessary for employers to keep records of the names of their employees, the time worked, and the wages received by them. Most of them do so at the present time, but, in some of the States, instances have occurred where employers have been found to keep no records, and not to ask their employees to sign for their wages. If an inspector were sent to the factory of such an employer to inspect documents, he would be unable to find any receipts for wages paid. In many of these cases, there is very grave suspicion in the minds of union secretaries that the men are not receiving the full wages to which they are entitled. This amendment is designed to carry out what the Minister has already agreed shall be done. . No one would be allowed to inspect the books or the documents of an employer under the proposed new clause except an authorized person approved by the Registrar. It would not be possible for a union secretary to go into an office when ever he. pleased and to inspect the wages books. If there is reason, however, to suspectthat men are not receiving the wages provided for by an award, the prescribed authority will have power to inspect the documents. Paragraph c of my proposed new clause requires that every employer shall post in a conspicuous position in his factory or works a copy of the award relating to his industry. This is a very necessary requirement, particularly in the case of industries where changes are frequently made in the personnel of the employees. A man entering such an establishment in search of employment might not know exactly, what part of an award relating to the industry applied to him, and what wages he ought to receive. If we require that copies of an award shall be placed in a conspicuous position in the factory or workshop, there will be no trouble in that regard. A similar provision appears in all State legislation, and I hope that the Committee will agree to the amendment.

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