Media release

Security officers in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs back-paid $107,000

Twenty-seven security officers in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs have been back-paid $107,000 after a targeted investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

Fair Work inspectors found that the workers – all employed by the same company - were paid a flat-rate which did not include weekend or shift penalty rates.

The biggest individual underpayment was $12,400.

All workers have been reimbursed in full.

The Fair Work Ombudsman audited the business earlier this year as part of a national security industry campaign which recovered more than $677,000 for 803 staff.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the employer has co-operated and voluntarily rectified the matter, there will be no further action against the company.

“Our preference is to work with employers to educate and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues,” he said.

Mr Campbell says an agreement to pay workers a flat rate – even if it is above the minimum hourly rate in the Award – does not necessarily negate the need to pay workers their full penalty rates for overtime, night and weekend work.

“Employers need to regularly review their Award or agreement to ensure they are complying with workplace laws,” he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a variety of tools on its website - www.fairwork.gov.au - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay.

Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation available online.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50. 

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 22 Sep 2010