Bendigo truck drivers back-paid $67,000

12 January 2011

Two truck drivers at Bendigo are being reimbursed more than $67,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The drivers - who worked for the same company - lodged complaints with the Fair Work Ombudsman after they were underpaid their minimum kilometre rate of pay, public holiday entitlements and allowances.

They were owed $49,700 and $17,200 respectively.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the company agreed to back-pay them.

In a separate case, a young Bendigo barista is being back-paid $21,400 after he was underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalties, allowances and annual leave entitlements.

The 20-year-old lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was paid a flat rate for all hours worked over two years.

After inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, a repayment plan was agreed to, ensuring the worker is fully reimbursed.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $8400 for a Golden Square sales representative who had unauthorised deductions from wages and who was underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $5800 for a South Bendigo food sales worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and annual leave, and
  • $5000 for a South Bendigo retail worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given all employers co-operated with inspectors and agreed to voluntarily rectify the underpayments, there 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 help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” he said.

Mr Campbell says that 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 better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation with step-by-step instructions.

Online resources also include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist and fact sheets.

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:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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