Media release

17 October 2011

$60,000 back-pay for Newcastle workers

A number of workers at Newcastle in regional NSW have been back-paid more than $60,700 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $16,100 for a plumber who was underpaid as a result of being incorrectly classified by his employer.

After an inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employee was reimbursed all outstanding entitlements without the need for further action.

In a separate case, a sales representative has been back-paid $10,000 after the 52-year-old male employee was not paid all his appropriate allowances.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $8600 for a truck driver not paid annual leave entitlements,
  • $7600 for a labourer underpaid the minimum hourly rate and not paid penalties, overtime or annual leave entitlements,
  • $7000 for a shop assistant underpaid penalty rates, annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice,
  • $5700 for a security officer underpaid the minimum hourly rate, and
  • $5700 for a financial controller not paid annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says: “It’s a fact that some businesses inadvertently breach workplace laws. When we find mistakes, we’re here to help and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them.”

“Each of these businesses has now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure they will not happen again.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a single point of contact for people working or running a business in Australia to get accurate and timely information about their workplace rights and obligations.

Workers or employers seeking support should get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website – www.fairwork.gov.au - or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50, with information on the website translated into 27 different languages.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au.

Media inquiries:

Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146 
cameron.jackson@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 17 Oct 2011