National hotel chain back-pays workers $53,000

29 October 2010

A national hotel chain with more than 30 hotels and resorts across Australia has reimbursed 165 of its workers a total of $53,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The hotel chain failed to implement its Collective Agreement within the required seven-day period after it was approved.

The company took almost two months to implement the agreement.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained its obligations, workers in NSW, Vic, Qld, SA and WA were back-paid an average of $321 each.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the company co-operated and swiftly rectified the matter, there will be no further action.

“We acknowledge that accidental breaches of workplace laws do and will occur,” he said.

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

Mr Campbell says that in most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and user-friendly resources 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 better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation available online.

The ‘Industries’ section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security and horticulture industries.

A series of Best Practice Guides have also been developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist employers make better use of the provisions of 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 in bargaining.

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.

Note: We are unable to provide additional information on the case listed above.

Media inquiries:

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

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