Media release

1 November 2011

Wanted - 6500 workers to claim $1.6 million

The Commonwealth is holding more than $1.6 million in back-pay for over 6500 employees who cannot be located.

The money has been paid by employers whom the Fair Work Ombudsman found had underpaid their workers’ entitlements.

More than $340,000 was recouped last financial year for staff who have left their jobs and can no longer be contacted.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says his Agency managed to locate 168 underpaid staff during the year and reimburse them $145,783.

But at June 30, the total amount being held for 6585 individual employees was $1,660,234.

More than 300 workers are owed amounts greater than $1000.

Four hundred and thirty two workers are owed amounts between $500 and $1000, 2065 are owed amounts between $100 and $500 and 3769 are owed amounts less than $100.

Mr Wilson says his Agency continues to liaise with overseas embassies and other government departments to try to locate people no longer living in Australia.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has also developed a search facility on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au for individuals to check themselves.

Users need to enter their family name and either the business name, entity name or ABN number of a former employer and the Fair Work Ombudsman will cross-match the information on its data base to determine if there is a potential match.

In 2010-11, the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered more than $26 million in outstanding wages and entitlements for a total of 17,360 employees as a result of its investigations and targeted auditing.

Since March, 2006, it has recouped more than $140 million for over 100,000 underpaid workers.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 01 Nov 2011