14 April 2010
$16,000 back-pay recovered for 20 Moranbah hospitality staff
Twenty casual hospitality staff at Moranbah, in Queensland, have been reimbursed $16,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.
The employees, who all worked for the same business, were underpaid their casual hourly rate.
After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained its obligations, the workers were promptly back-paid all money outstanding.
Fair Work Ombudsman Queensland Director Julie Wade says the underpayments were the result of a lack of understanding by the employer of appropriate wage rates and entitlements.
“That’s why the Fair Work Ombudsman places such a strong focus on educating employers and assisting them to understand and comply with workplace laws,” she said.
Ms Wade says that in most cases, the Agency does not prosecute employers for inadvertent contraventions.
“We have a flexible, fair approach and our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” she said.
“However, employers need to be aware that they can face fines of up $33,000 per breach if we do take matters to court.”
Ms Wade says the Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources on its website – www.fairwork.gov.au – to assist employers comply with workplace laws and operate their workplace at best practice.
Materials include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist and fact sheets.
Employers or employees seeking advice or assistance should visit the website or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. For translations call 13 14 50.
In Queensland this year, the Fair Work Ombudsman will make up to 10,000 educational visits to employers entering the national workplace relations system for the first time.
Richard Honey, Media & Stakeholder Relations Adviser
(03) 9954 2716
Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924