Albury motel cleaner back-paid $10,000 after Fair Work Ombudsman investigation

28 April 2010

An Albury motel cleaner has been back-paid $10,200 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found she was underpaid.

After investigating a complaint from the cleaner, the Fair Work Ombudsman found she was underpaid her minimum hourly, penalty and public holiday rates over a period of three and a half years.

After inspectors contacted the motel, the employee was promptly reimbursed without the need for further action against the company.

In a separate case, an Albury apprentice has been back-paid more than $6000 after being underpaid his hourly, overtime and penalty rates - as well as his annual leave loading.

Similarly, the employer rectified the issue after Fair Work inspectors explained its obligations to the young worker.

The recoveries are among a number of cases finalised recently on behalf of workers around Albury.

Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits and investigations into complaints from workers.

Other recoveries include:

  • $5800 for an Albury practice manager who was not paid wages for overtime worked, and
  • $3500 for a Riverina bus driver who was not paid for all hours worked.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that his Agency places a strong focus on educating and assisting employers to understand and comply with workplace laws.

"We have a flexible, fair approach and our preference is always to work with employers to help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify," he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman can help employers and workers to understand their rights and obligations under new National Employment Standards and Modern Awards, which took effect on January 1.

Mr Campbell says the Agency will visit 10,000 small businesses across NSW in 2010 to help them better understand, comply and maximise the benefits of Australia's new national workplace relations system.

"We are very serious about our job of building knowledge and fairer workplaces and are strongly focussed on ensuring the community understands its workplace rights and obligations," he said.

Mr Campbell says the Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources on our website that can assist employers comply with workplace laws and operate their workplace at best practice.

"Resources on can help employer comply with the law and include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist and fact sheets on dozens of topics including leave, industrial action, public holidays, enterprise bargaining, gender pay equality and family-friendly workplaces," he said.

As well as online resources, the Fair Work Ombudsman has more than 200 highly-skilled advisers available to speak with employers and workers with questions on its Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am - 6pm weekdays.

The Fair Work Ombudsman also has Best Practice Guides which have been developed to assist employers make better use of the provisions of the Fair Work Act and better understand other aspects of workplace laws.

Mr Campbell says the guides cover work and family, consultation and co-operation, individual flexibility arrangements, employing young workers, gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance, effective dispute resolution and improving workplace productivity.

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

NOTE: We are unable to identify individual businesses or provide additional information about the cases listed.

Media inquiries:

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

Richard Honey, Adviser,
0457 924 146

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