Nowra workers back-paid more than $15,000

17 December 2010

Two workers on the South Coast of NSW have been reimbursed $15,100 after the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The biggest underpayment was $7300 for a Nowra security officer.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and allowances.

After Fair Work inspectors raised the issue with the employer, the worker was voluntarily reimbursed all his entitlements.

In a separate case, a Nowra health worker has been back-paid $6800 after she was underpaid the minimum hourly rate.

Similarly, after Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations the worker was back-paid in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the employers co-operated 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.

“However, employers must be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure they pay staff correctly.”

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.

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 or accessing a series of Best Practice Guides.

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 to 6pm weekdays.

Media inquiries:

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

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