Caboolture bus driver back-paid $10,000

23 June 2010

A bus driver at Caboolture, in Queensland, has been back-paid $10,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work inspectors found the bus driver had been underpaid his hourly rate of pay, overtime entitlements and penalty rates.

After inspectors contacted the transport company involved and explained its legal obligations, the driver was reimbursed in full.

In a separate case, a Morayfield apprentice has been back-paid $1700 after being underpaid his hourly rate.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was paid as an apprentice, despite the apprenticeship never being registered.

Similarly, once Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained that apprentice wage rates can only be paid to registered apprentices, the employer immediately back-paid the worker.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the underpayments were the result of a lack of understanding by the employers of their legal obligations.

He says employers need to be fully aware of the obligations in their Award or agreement which affects their workers.

“We have a flexible, fair approach and our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources on its website – www.fwo.gov.au – to assist employees and employers check minimum rates of pay, including PayCheck and Payroll Check.

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.

Employers or employees seeking advice or assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations call 13 14 50.

In Queensland this year, the Fair Work Ombudsman will make up to 10,000 educational visits to employers entering the national workplace system for the first time.

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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