The Fair Work Ombudsman has contacted 200 businesses in Queensland’s Wide Bay region as part of a new compliance campaign.

Fair Work Inspectors will audit time and wage records at randomly selected businesses across a variety of industries in Bundaberg, Gympie, Maryborough, Hervey Bay and surrounding areas.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the agency has been contacted by hundreds of workers in the region over the past two financial years alleging that they have been underpaid.

“In the last two financial years my agency recovered $402,805 for 220 workers in the Wide Bay region,” James said.

“The Wide Bay region has a high unemployment rate and a high youth unemployment rate, making workers in the region more vulnerable to exploitation and potentially more willing to accept sub-standard work practices.”

“It is important that we are proactive about checking that employees are receiving their full lawful entitlements and improving compliance in the region."

Local employer groups, including councils and business associations, have also been contacted to seek their assistance in promoting the campaign.

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