Almost $40,000 recovered for Ipswich workers

14 December 2010

A number of workers at Ipswich in South-East Queensland have been back-paid $39,600 following recent investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The biggest underpayment was $14,800 for a real estate agent at Brassall.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was not paid wages for more than six months and not paid annual leave entitlements on termination.

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

In a separate case, an apprentice at Raceview has been back-paid $8900 after he was not paid wages in lieu of notice or annual leave entitlements on termination.

Similarly, after inspectors contacted the employer, the apprentice was back-paid in full.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $6800 for an Ipswich electrician underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $6700 for an Ipswich sales assistant underpaid long service leave,
  • $1400 for an Ipswich pharmacy worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate, sick leave and annual leave entitlements, and
  • $1000 for an Ipswich labourer who had unauthorised deductions from wages and was underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says most underpayments are the result of a lack of understanding by employers of their legal obligations, including wages and conditions.

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

Mr Campbell says that given the employers co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily rectified the matters, there will be no further action against the companies.

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.

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 and employees seeking advice or assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. Translations are available by calling 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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