Underpaid pilots are back-paid $50,000

6 June 2010

Three pilots in south-west Victoria are being reimbursed $50,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The pilots – who all worked for the one company – lodged complaints with the Fair Work Ombudsman after they were underpaid wages, annual leave entitlements and allowances.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, a payment plan was agreed on to ensure the workers are fully back-paid.

The largest individual underpayment was $19,500 for one of the pilots.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the employer has co-operated and agreed to voluntarily rectify the underpayments, there will be no further action against the company involved.

Last month, a pilot based at Katherine, in the Northern Territory, was reimbursed $17,000 after Fair Work inspectors intervened on his behalf following a complaint that he was not paid for all hours worked, did not receive payment in lieu of notice or annual leave entitlements.

“Our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntary rectify any non-compliance issues,” Mr Campbell said.

Since March, 2006, the Fair Work Ombudsman has recouped a total of $107 million for Australian employees underpaid at work.

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.

Note: we are unable to provide additional information on the cases listed above.

Media inquiries:

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

Richard Honey, Adviser,
0457 924 146

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