Regulator recoups $35,000 for dozens of underpaid Albany workers

16 September 2010

Dozens of workers in Albany, WA, have been back-paid a total of $35,000 as a result of recent investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The biggest recovery was $20,100 for an Albany office manager who was underpaid her termination entitlements.

The worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after her employer miscalculated her long service leave.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the business and explained its obligations, the worker was paid in full.

In a separate case, 38 young casual workers at an Albany take-away food store have been back-paid $15,500 after they were underpaid their hourly rate.

Similarly, after Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained its obligations the employer immediately back-paid the workers.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the underpayments were inadvertent and resulted from a lack of understanding by employers of their obligations.

“Employers need to be fully aware of their Award or agreement obligations which affect their workers,” Mr Campbell said.

He says that in most cases, the Agency will not prosecute employers for accidental contraventions if they are voluntarily rectified.

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

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 better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation available online.

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:

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

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