Media release

$14,000 back-pay for Sapphire Coast workers

14 March 2012

Two workers on the Sapphire Coast in regional NSW have been back-paid a total of $14,600 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $8000 for a manager in the Pambula area.

The male employee in his 40s lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and allowances between August, 2009 and June, 2011.

After an inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employee was reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

In another case, a farmhand near Bega has been back–paid $6600 after he was underpaid annual leave entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $8.215 million back-pay for 4182 underpaid workers in NSW last financial year. Between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011 the Agency recovered a total of $68.2 million nationally for 41,224 underpaid workers.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says that when Fair Work inspectors identify a problem and contact a business, most employers check their records, realise a problem has occurred, and fix it immediately.

“We’re here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily resolve issues,” says Mr Wilson.

“The two businesses involved have now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure they will not happen again.”

Mr Wilson says the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Assisted Voluntary Resolution team is now achieving resolution of about half its referrals within the first month.

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.

Free documentation is available Online for employers to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, including letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay slip templates, leave application forms, a self-audit check list and workplace complaint form.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to assist business-owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food, hospitality and vehicle industries.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au External link icon or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au External link icon.

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations, 
0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 14 Mar 2012