13 July 2009
Clothing retailer reimburses teenage workers $10,000 after watchdog finds shortfall in pay
Twenty teenage girls in Adelaide have been reimbursed a total of $10,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.
The girls are former and current employees of an all-female clothing retailer.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the employer was targeted for audit after the agency’s Adelaide office received complaints from several former workers.
Inspectors discovered the company was using the wrong pay scale and calculated it owed 20 of its young female workforce $10,000 dating back to March, 2006.
One worker – who is still employed with the retailer - was owed $2031.
Mr Campbell says the case highlights the importance of all employers – no matter how big or small – understanding their workplace obligations.
He urged any employer with reservations about whether they are compliant with workplace laws to seek assistance.
“Similarly, this case also emphasises the value of young people concerned about whether or not they are receiving their full entitlements contacting us for information,” he said.
“We take every complaint seriously and we can investigate matters confidentially.”
Mr Campbell said no further action would be taken against the clothing retailer as the underpayments were deemed to be inadvertent and the employer had co-operated fully with his office and voluntarily rectified the problem when it was pointed out.
Workers and employers alike can contact the FWO Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au for assistance. The Fair Work Ombudsman aims to promote harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national workplace laws.
Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924