$115,000 back-pay for workers in Melbourne’s northern suburbs

4 June 2010

Workers in Melbourne’s northern suburbs have been back paid more than $115,000 as a result of recent investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $22,800 for three Airport West security officers who had been underpaid wages.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer to explain its obligations, the workers were promptly reimbursed $13,800, $4700 and $4300 respectively.

In another case, four Greensborough shop assistants have been back-paid $18,900 after being underpaid their minimum hourly rate and penalty rates.

Likewise, the employer rectified the issues after being contacted by Fair Work inspectors to discuss its responsibilities.

The underpayments were discovered through a combination of routine audits and investigations into complaints from workers.

Common non-compliance issues encountered by inspectors include underpayment of workers’ minimum hourly rates, penalty rates and failure to pay full entitlements to workers upon termination of their employment.

Other recoveries include:

  • $9100 for a Footscray fitter and turner underpaid his minimum hourly rate and annual leave entitlements,
  • $9000 for a Keilor finance worker underpaid annual leave and long service leave on termination of employment,
  • $8400 for a North Melbourne corporate trainer underpaid severance entitlements,
  • $7600 for a Sunshine sales engineer underpaid redundancy entitlements,
  • $7500 for a Fawkner pharmacy assistant underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $7000 for a fashion industry worker in Brunswick underpaid the minimum hourly rate, overtime, annual leave and annual leave loading,
  • $6800 for a Brunswick medical technician underpaid wages,
  • $6400 for a retail worker in Brunswick underpaid the minimum hourly and penalty rates,
  • $6300 for an Epping labourer underpaid the minimum hourly rate of pay, and
  • $5500 for a West Brunswick sales assistant who was underpaid the minimum hourly and penalty rates.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the cases highlight the importance of employers and employees alike understanding their workplace rights and obligations.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website - www.fwo.gov.au - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay, including Paycheck.

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.

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.

NoteWe are unable to provide additional information on the cases listed above.

Media inquiries:

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

Richard Honey, Advisor, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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