A BLITZ that found 41 per cent of businesses in Albury-Wodonga were breaking workplace rules has not surprised a Border industry figure.
NSW Business Chamber Riverina Murray manager Andrew Cottrill said the finding of the audits on 200 sites by the Fair Work Ombudsman was no shock.
Four businesses were fined for breaches on pay or record-keeping, while $127,865 was recovered for 120 workers employed by 48 companies.
"Given the complexity of awards it doesn't surprise me," Mr Cottrill said.
"I believe in most cases businesses do intend to be compliant but there's just so many complexities and perhaps there is incorrect advice from non-specialist accounting firms or advisers or businesses trying to interpret information themselves and not interpreting it perfectly.
"It's a bit of a wake-up call to check their pay and conditions and make sure their correctly interpreting pay rises that have been announced."
Mr Cottrill said his chamber provided a service that saw alerts about award changes provided to members and it also had a hotline that could be called for information.
The four fines tallied $1260, with inspectors having discretion over the amount of the infringement notice.
Another seven businesses received compliance notices, with 17 issued with formal cautions.
Overall, 41 per cent had some level of non-compliance though 81 per cent met record-keeping and payslip requirements and 70 per cent complied with monetary obligations.
The operation on Border businesses was done about 15 months ago with the area targetted, along with Ballarat and Wollongong, due to a high fluid workforce of university students.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said "young workers in these regions were potentially vulnerable due to their age, visa status and reliance on local jobs to support themselves".
"Employers in the fast food, restaurant and cafe sector need to actively check that they are paying their staff correctly before we visit their business," she said.