Media release

20 January 2011

More than $35,000 recovered for underpaid workers in WA’s Kimberley region

A number of workers in Western Australia’s Kimberley region have been reimbursed $36,400 after recent investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were being underpaid.

The largest underpayments were $22,900 for two workers in Fitzroy Crossing who were underpaid their penalty rates.

After Broome-based Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the workers received all their outstanding entitlements.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $8000 for a worker in the engineering field at Karratha not paid wages and annual leave entitlements, and
  • $5500 for a Broome tradesman underpaid annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the employers  co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily rectified the underpayments, there will be no further action against the companies.

“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.

Mr Campbell says employers need to regularly review their Award or agreement to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations to their workers.

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 available online.

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

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.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has offices in all capital cities and 40 regional locations across Australia including an office located at 23 Coghlan Street, Broome.

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

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 19 Jan 2011