$100,000 back-pay for Perth workers after Fair Work Ombudsman investigations

19 May 2010

A manager of a Perth company has been back-paid more than $26,800 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found he was underpaid.

The manager, based at Henderson, lodged a complaint when he was made redundant but not paid his accrued annual leave and long service leave entitlements.

After inspectors contacted the company to discuss its obligations, the worker was promptly reimbursed without the need for further action.

In a separate case, a Malaga security guard has been reimbursed more than $24,200 after he was underpaid his minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and shift loadings.

Similarly, the employer voluntarily 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 Perth metropolitan area.

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

Common non-compliance issues encountered include underpayment of hourly, overtime and penalty rates, workers not being paid for all hours worked and underpayment of annual leave, long service leave and severance pay upon termination of employment.

Other recoveries include:

  • $13,600 for two Leederville IT workers underpaid severance pay after being made redundant,
  • $8000 for a Perth manager underpaid redundancy entitlements,
  • $7400 for 33 Innaloo customer service attendants underpaid their minimum hourly rate,
  • $6200 for a Morley manager underpaid accrued annual leave entitlements on termination of employment,
  • $6100 for a Bellevue tradesman underpaid redundancy entitlements,
  • $5300 for a Rivervale receptionist unpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $5100 for a Joondalup consultant underpaid accrued annual leave entitlements on termination of employment, and
  • $3100 for a Baldivis machine operator not paid for all hours worked.

Fair Work Ombudsman WA Director Leigh Quealy 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," Mr Quealy said.

In most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

Mr Quealy says the Fair Work Ombudsman can help workers and employers to understand their respective workplace rights and obligations.

Resources at www.fwo.gov.au include an explanation of the new National Employment Standards and Modern Awards plus information and templates to help employers better manage employment records and payslips.

Another tool, PayCheck, provides information on minimum rates of pay for employers and employees covered by modern awards in the new national workplace relations system.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has about 300 highly-skilled advisers available to speak with employers and workers with questions on its Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays.

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces. It also monitors compliance with 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

Richard Honey, Media & Stakeholder Relations Adviser,
0457 924 146.

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