Media release

30 November 2010

Gippsland workers back-paid almost $40,000

A number of workers in Gippsland in regional Victoria have been reimbursed almost $40,000 following recent investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest underpayment was $19,800 for a Bass Coast sales assistant who was underpaid penalty rates, annual leave and long service leave.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he did not receive his full entitlements.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained its obligations the worker was fully reimbursed all monies owed.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $6200 for a South Gippsland transport worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate and overtime and penalty rates,
  • $5700 for a Morwell food retail worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates, and
  • $5600 for a Lakes Entrance cleaner underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the underpayments were the result of a lack of understanding by the employers of their legal obligations.

“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.

“In most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources on its website - www.fairwork.gov.au - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay, including PayCheck, Payroll Check and a Pay Rate Calculator.

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.

Online resources also include industry specific web pages, payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist and fact sheets.

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

Note: we are unable to provide additional information on the cases listed above.

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: 29 Nov 2010