Bordertown tradesman back-paid almost $8000 after regulator intervenes

21 June 2010

A Bordertown tradesman has been reimbursed $7900 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found he had been underpaid for six years.

The tradesman lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after his hourly rate had not been increased in line with the Federal Minimum Wage.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company to explain its obligations, the worker was back-paid in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman SA Director Carey Trundle says most underpayments result from a lack of understanding by employers of their legal obligations, including wages and conditions.

“That’s why the Fair Work Ombudsman places such a strong focus on educating employers and assisting them to understand and comply with workplace laws,” Ms Trundle said.

“In most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

“Our preference is always to assist employers to voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify.”

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 available online.

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.

Throughout 2010, the Fair Work Ombudsman will visit up to 5000 SA employers who are entering the national workplace relations system for the first time to provide practical information and advice.

Media inquiries:

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

Richard Honey, Media & Stakeholder Relations Adviser
0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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