Fair Work inspectors recoup almost $120,000 for underpaid Adelaide workers

11 January 2011

A number of Adelaide workers have been back-paid almost $120,000 following recent investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $37,500 for four housekeepers working at a City motel who had been underpaid their minimum hourly rate.

The employees were reimbursed $14,300, $14,100, $8300 and $770 respectively.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the motel to explain its obligations, the employer voluntarily rectified the matter without the need for further action.

The recovery is among a number of cases finalised recently on behalf of Adelaide workers, including:

  • $14,100 for a City workshop manager underpaid severance pay, pay in lieu of notice and annual leave,
  • $10,700 for a City workshop supervisor underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $10,000 for a Park Holme labourer underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $9400 for a McLaren Vale cleaner underpaid penalty rates and not paid minimum engagement hours,
  • $7800 for a Cowandilla design worker underpaid redundancy entitlements,
  • $7400 for a Hindmarsh painter not paid for hours worked, annual leave entitlements or long service leave,
  • $6700 for a Flinders Park manager underpaid overtime penalty rates,
  • $5900 for a City development manager not paid out time off in lieu of overtime,
  • $5300 for a Smithfield workshop labourer underpaid severance pay, and
  • $5100 for a Clarence Gardens electrician whose work contract was unlawful.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given all the employers have co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily repaid the money owed, here will be no further action against the companies involved.

“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.

Mr Campbell says employers need to regularly review their Award or agreement to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations to their workers.

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, including PayCheck and Payroll Check.

An ‘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.

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.

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:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902

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