Mount Isa worker back-paid $6100

16 June 2010

A supervisor at Mount Isa, in Queensland, has been back-paid $6100 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The employee – who worked in the engineering field – lodged a complaint when he was not paid redundancy entitlements.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company, the man was reimbursed without the need for further action against the company.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the underpayment was the result of a lack of understanding by the employer of its legal obligations.

“That’s why the Fair Work Ombudsman places such a strong emphasis on educating employers to understand and comply with workplace laws,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Campbell says workers in regional areas are often reluctant to complain about their terms and conditions of employment for fear they may put their job at risk.

“Some regional workers worry that if they make a complaint, it could impact on their personal life, particularly in small communities,” he said.

“It is important regional workers are aware there is an Agency they can turn to if they have workplace concerns. Complaints can be made confidentially.”

Throughout 2010, the Fair Work Ombudsman will visit up to 10,000 Queensland employers who are entering the national workplace relations system for the first time to provide practical information and advice.

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 and PayrollCheck.

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.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

Richard Honey, Media & Stakeholder Relations Adviser
0457 624 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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