$25,000 back-pay recouped for Perth sales manager made redundant

23 March 2010

A Perth-based sales manager for a national business has been back-paid $25,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found she was underpaid.

The sales manager, who was based in the City of Swan, lodged a complaint after she was made redundant but not paid her accrued annual leave entitlements, severance pay and pay in lieu of notice.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company, the manager was promptly paid the money she was owed without the need for further action against the company.

The recovery is among a number of cases finalised recently on behalf of Perth workers.

Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits and investigations into complaints from workers.

Common non-compliance issues inspectors have encountered in Perth include underpayment of workers’ minimum hourly rates and failure to pay full entitlements to workers upon termination of their employment.

Other recoveries include:

  • $13,100 for a Bibra Lake tradesman underpaid redundancy and accrued annual leave entitlements,
  • $10,240 for a professional Northbridge firm that had failed to pay a graduate employee for several weeks work because of cash-flow problems,
  • $9120 for a CBD-based manager of a Perth mining company underpaid wages for some time worked and accrued annual leave entitlements on termination,
  • $8990 for several workers of child care operator with outlets throughout WA who were not fully paid annual leave entitlements on termination,
  • $8630 for the manager of a Darch business who was not paid for more than 200 hours of accrued annual leave on termination,
  • $7040 for a Yangebup tradesman not fully paid on redundancy,
  • $6630 for a South Perth real estate industry worker not fully paid redundancy entitlements,
  • $6520 for a Victoria Park real estate agent underpaid wages and commissions,
  • $6350 for a manager at a Kewdale industrial business not fully paid redundancy entitlements,
  • $5660 for a Victoria Park salesman not fully paid entitlements on termination, and
  • $5410 for a young technician at a Wangara business underpaid the minimum hourly rate.

Fair Work Ombudsman WA Director Leigh Quealy says most of the underpayments were the result of a lack of understanding by employers of their legal obligations, including wages and entitlements.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“However, employers need to be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure they pay staff correctly and that they can face fines of up $33,000 per breach if we do take matters to court.”

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

Employers or employees seeking advice or assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au. For translations call 13 14 50.

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

NOTE: We are unable to identify individual businesses or provide additional information about the cases listed.

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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