Macedon Ranges workers back-paid $28,000

1 October 2010

Two workers in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges have been reimbursed $28,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest underpayment was $15,000 for a Kyneton apprentice who was underpaid his hourly rate.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was paid as an apprentice, despite no formal apprenticeship being registered.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained that apprentice wage rates can only be paid to registered apprentices, the employer immediately back-paid the worker.

In another recent case, a casual Woodend cleaner has been back-paid $13,000.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid his casual hourly rate.

Similarly, after inspectors contacted the business and explained its obligations, the worker was back paid in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the employers both co-operated and voluntarily rectified the underpayments, there will be no further action.

“Our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues,” he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of new tools on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay.

Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation with step-by-step instructions or accessing a series of Best Practice Guides.

Information and advice is also available from the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 between 8am and 6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50.

Note: we are unable to provide additional information on the cases listed above.

Media inquiries:

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

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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