Media release

24 January 2011

Barossa Valley cellar hand back-paid $29,000

A cellar hand in South Australia’s Barossa Valley has been reimbursed $29,000 after a recent investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found he was underpaid.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was not paid wages in lieu of notice, accrued annual leave, redundancy or long service leave entitlements.

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

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

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

“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,” he said.

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.

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. 

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

Media inquiries: 

Cameron Jackson, 0457 924 146, Cameron.jackson@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 24 Jan 2011