Media release

11 November 2010

Gladstone store manager back-paid $10,300

The manager of a retail store at Gladstone, in Queensland, has been reimbursed $10,300 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found she was underpaid.

The manager lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after she was underpaid the minimum hourly rate, annual leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained its obligations, the employer voluntarily back-paid all outstanding entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the underpayments were the result of a lack of understanding by the employer of appropriate wages 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,” he said.

Mr Campbell says that in most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

“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,” he said.

“We are very serious about our job of building knowledge and creating fairer workplaces and we are strongly focused on ensuring the community understands its workplace rights and obligations.

“The best advice I can give to business operators is to get the basics right and everything else should start to fall into place.

“By the basics, I mean knowing what Award applies to your employees, the correct classifications and pay rates.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number 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 with step-by-step instructions or accessing a series of Best Practice Guides.

The ‘Industries’ section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security and horticulture industries.

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: 11 Nov 2010