Brisbane pilot back-paid $24,000 after complaint to Fair Work Ombudsman

14 May 2010

A Brisbane pilot has been back-paid $24,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found he was underpaid.

The pilot lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he retired and was not paid his correct annual leave or long service leave entitlements.

After inspectors contacted his former employer, the worker was promptly reimbursed without the need for further action against the company.

In a separate case, a Capalaba retail worker has been reimbursed more than $21,000.

The retail worker lodged a complaint after he was not paid his correct annual leave, long service leave and severance entitlements or pay in lieu of notice after the business he worked for became insolvent.

Similarly, the employer rectified the issue after being contacted by Fair Work inspectors.

The recoveries are among a number of cases finalised recently on behalf of workers in the Brisbane CBD and surrounding suburbs.

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

They include:

  • $16,900 for two Fortitude Valley cleaners underpaid their redundancy entitlements,
  • $16,000 for a Kangaroo Point educator underpaid wages in lieu of notice and accrued annual leave on termination of employment,
  • $7400 for a Indooroopilly food and beverage assistant underpaid hourly, overtime and penalty rates,
  • $7300 for a manager in the CBD underpaid severance pay,
  • $7000 for a Parkinson child care director underpaid annual leave entitlements after she resigned,
  • $6700 for a Yatala personal assistant underpaid long service leave and annual leave,
  • $5900 for a CBD administration officer underpaid annual leave entitlements and severance pay upon termination,
  • $5700 for a Capalaba factory supervisor underpaid his hourly pay rate,
  • $5500 for a Coorparoo manager underpaid wages in lieu of notice,
  • $5400 for a Park Ridge retail manager underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $5300 for a Cleveland mechanic underpaid annual leave entitlements on termination of his employment,
  • $5200 for three web developers in Ferny Hills who were not paid for all hours worked,
  • $5100 for a company director in Springwood underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $5000 for a Springwood manager underpaid severance pay,
  • $1200 for a CBD hairdresser underpaid her annual leave entitlements,
  • $1000 for a young CBD worker underpaid annual leave upon termination, and
  • $1000 for a Wynnum fast-food worker who was underpaid annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Queensland Director Julie Wade says the Agency places a strong focus on educating and assisting employers to understand and comply with workplace laws.

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

Ms Wade 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.

"We have a range of user-friendly resources on our website, to assist employers and employees alike, including an explanation of the new National Employment Standards, Modern Awards and an overview of State referrals for employers new to the national workplace relations system," she said.

For example 11 Best Practice Guides have been developed to assist employers make better use of provisions in the Fair Work act and better understand other aspects of workplace laws.

"The guides cover work and family, consultation and co-operation, individual flexibility arrangements, employing young workers, gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance, effective dispute resolution and improving workplace productivity," she said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman will make 10,000 informal, educational visits to employers in Queensland this year to assist them to understand the changes between the state and federal workplace relations system.

Employers and employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. For translations call 13 14 50.

Pls note we are unable to provide additional details on cases listed.

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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