Fair Work Ombudsman recoups $83,000 back-pay for 26 Adelaide transport workers

27 April 2010

An Adelaide trucking company has back-paid more than $83,000 to 26 workers following investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The employees - including drivers, a mechanic, yard hand, cleaner and clerk - had been short-changed their hourly rate, penalty rates, overtime and allowances.

The problem was identified when the employer was randomly audited as part of a national campaign targeting the road transport industry.

Fair Work Ombudsman South Australian Director Carey Trundle says her office has worked with the business and its accountant to ensure workers are paid their proper entitlements in future.

Ms Trundle says the contravention was inadvertent and as the employer has fully co-operated and voluntarily rectified the underpayments, no further action will be taken.

The case is one of a number recently resolved by SA Fair Work inspectors resulting in tens of thousands of dollars being reimbursed to underpaid employees.

They include:

  • $21,500 recovered for three food industry employees at Munno Para who did not receive payment for time worked, payment in lieu of notice or accrued annual leave entitlements when the business closed,
  • $14,600 for an office worker at Dry Creek after the employer with-held payment of wages and superannuation payments for two months,
  • $10,000 for real estate salesperson at Norwood as a result of non-payment of wages, commission and allowances,
  • $10,000 for a female migrant worker with an Adelaide education consultancy for non-payment of the minimum wage and annual leave entitlements,
  • $9200 for an Adelaide real estate salesperson for non-payment of commissions,
  • $8000 for a truck driver at Wingfield underpaid the minimum hourly rate and overtime payments,
  • $7500 for the manager of a Mawson Lakes business for non-payment of annual leave entitlements on termination when the business closed,
  • $7300 for a retail salesperson at Golden Grove for underpayment of redundancy, payment in lieu of notice and annual leave entitlements,
  • $7000 for a production line worker at Wingfield for underpayment of redundancy, accrued annual leave entitlements and payment in lieu of notice,
  • $6700 for a manufacturing worker at Ferryden Park for non-payment of redundancy entitlements,
  • $6300 for a Mylor café employee underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $6100 for a food industry worker at Munno Para for underpayment of overtime and shift work allowances, and
  • $2800 for a storeman at Virginia for underpayment of time worked, allowances, leave loading and payment in lieu of notice.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered more than $2 million for 1015 workers in South Australia who were underpaid last financial year.

Ms Trundle urged employers to regularly contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on wage rates and conditions.

Eleven best practice guides have been developed to assist employers make better use of provisions of the Fair Work Act and better understand other aspects of workplace laws.

These can be downloaded from the website, along with other information and templates to assist manage employment records and payslips.

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co- operative workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national workplace laws.

NB – we cannot identify employers or provide further information on cases listed.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484

Richard Honey, Adviser
0457 924 146

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