Ballarat workers back-paid $53,000 after Fair Work Ombudsman intervenes

7 October 2010

A number of Ballarat workers have been back-paid more than $53,600 after recent investigations found they were underpaid.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recouped $22,200 for four employees at a hotel who were underpaid their minimum hourly rate and not paid penalty rates.

After inspectors contacted the employer, the workers were promptly reimbursed amounts of $7400, $5500, $4500 and $2600.

In a separate case, a Ballarat technician has been reimbursed more than $12,100 after lodging a complaint that he was underpaid accrued annual leave and long service leave entitlements.

Similarly, once Fair Work inspectors contacted the man’s employer and explained its obligations, the company voluntarily back-paid the worker.

The recoveries are among a number of cases finalised recently on behalf of workers in the greater Ballarat region.

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

Common non-compliance issues encountered by inspectors include underpayment of hourly and penalty rates, annual leave and long service leave entitlements.

Additional recoveries include:

  • $7500 for a Ballarat office manager underpaid  wages and accrued annual leave entitlements
  • $7300 for a Ballarat bar attendant underpaid the minimum hourly rate, and
  • $6400 for a Ballarat administration officer underpaid the minimum hourly rate.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the Agency places a strong focus on educating and assisting employers to understand and comply with workplace laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website - 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 following best practice 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.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50. 

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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