Fair Work Ombudsman secures $42,000 in back-pay for seven Port Pirie workers

29 March 2010 

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $42,000 for seven Port Pirie workers after an investigation found they were underpaid.

Fair Work inspectors audited their employer after a number of workers lodged complaints when they were made redundant.

The investigation found the workers were underpaid their severance entitlements and in a number of cases, time-in-lieu of notice.

After inspectors contacted the company, the workers were promptly paid the money they were owed.

Fair Work Ombudsman South Australian Director Carey Trundle says that given the employer co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily rectified the matter, there will be no further action taken against the company.

“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,” Ms Trundle said.

“However, employers must be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure they pay staff correctly.”

Ms Trundle says the Fair Work Ombudsman can help employers to understand their rights and obligations under the new National Employment Standards and Modern Awards, which came into effect on January 1.

“New workplace laws provide a comprehensive safety net of minimum employment conditions that underpin the whole system,” she said.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of user-friendly resources that can help employers and workers comply with workplace laws and operate their workplace according to best practice.”

The Agency has offices in Adelaide, Mount Gambier and Port Augusta and last financial year recovered more than $2 million for 1015 workers in South Australia who had been underpaid.

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 useful information.

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

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484

Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924

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