Two underpaid Pilbara workers reimbursed $16,400 after regulator intervenes

13 December 2010

Two workers in Western Australia’s Pilbara region have been back-paid $16,400 after the Fair Work Ombudsman intervened.

The biggest recovery was $11,000 for a health worker who was underpaid allowances and annual leave entitlements.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the worker was reimbursed in full.

In a separate case, a maintenance worker has been back-paid $5300 after he was not paid annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given both employers co-operated with inspectors and agreed to voluntarily rectify the underpayments, there will be no further action against the companies involved.

“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.

Mr Campbell says that the Agency places a strong focus on educating and assisting employers to understand and comply with workplace laws.

“We are serious about our job of ensuring regional communities understand their rights and obligations in the workplace.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website - www.fairwork.gov.au  - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay, including PayCheck, Payroll Check and a Pay Rate Calculator.

Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation with step-by-step instructions.

Online resources also include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist and fact sheets.

The ‘Industries’ section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security and horticulture industries.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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