$35,000 back-pay for three Darwin workers

3 March 2010

A Darwin business has reimbursed a mechanic a total of $15,000 after a recent investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found he was underpaid.

The mechanic lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman when he was not paid the correct penalty rates for overtime.

Fair Work inspectors raised the issue with the man’s employer, who voluntarily reimbursed the worker $15,160.

In a separate case, two caravan park workers in Darwin have also been back-paid a total $20,000 after their employer was not paying weekend or penalty rates.

The employer was paying the two workers a flat rate for all hours worked.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the business, the workers were promptly back-paid $14,400 and $5600 respectively.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that because the employers fully co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily rectified the underpayments, no further action will be taken.

“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.

“However, employers need to be aware that they can face fines of up $33,000 per breach if we do take matters to court.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman can help workers and employers to understand their rights and obligations under new National Employment Standards and Modern Awards, which took effect on January 1, 2010.

The Agency has a range of user-friendly resources to assist employers and workers comply with workplace laws and operate their business according to best practice.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au where payslip and record-keeping templates and other tools are available. For translations call 13 14 50.

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces. It also monitors compliance with and investigates breaches of national workplace laws.

Media inquiries:

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

Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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