The Fair Work Ombudsman has revealed close to 1 in 2 businesses audited in Ballarat fail to meet workplace laws.
A total of 192 businesses were audited by the Ombudsman, with 88 found to be non-compliant.
Additionally, close to $74,000 of withheld pay was distributed between 147 employees from 44 businesses across Ballarat.
The most common breach found in the Ombudsman's audit across the state was underpaying staff, or failing to pay penalty rates, with several failures to meet required record-keeping standards.
Overall however, 54 per cent of businesses in Ballarat audited were fully compliant with Australian workplace laws.
For more information about the audit, or to read the full report, head to the Fair Work Commission's website.