Almost $50,000 back-pay for Geelong workers

20 April 2011

About a dozen workers in and around Geelong in regional Victoria have been back-paid a total of $47,950 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $16,400 for 10 casual and part-time employees at a Portarlington tourist accommodation business.

Fair Work inspectors found the workers had either been underpaid their minimum hourly rate or not paid annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says once inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, each of the underpaid workers was promptly back-paid outstanding entitlements.

In a separate case, a Geelong baker received $16,000 after inspectors discovered he was not paid the minimum hourly rate, penalties or overtime.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $8750 for a Bellarine Peninsula tourist attraction employee underpaid the hourly rate, and
  • $6800 for a Geelong carer who did not receive the minimum hourly rate, penalties or overtime.

"We acknowledge that accidental breaches of workplace laws do occur, so our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify," Mr Campbell said.

"Each of these businesses has now put processes in place to ensure these mistakes will not be repeated."

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and resources on its website at 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, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Note: We are unable to provide additional information about the cases listed.

Media inquiries:

Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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