Regulator recovers more than $70,000 for North East Victorian workers

13 January 2011

Workers in North East Victoria have been back-paid more than $70,000 after recent investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The biggest underpayment was $19,300 for a Mooroopna apprentice.

The worker - who lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman - was underpaid his minimum hourly rate, overtime and travel allowances.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the company agreed to a payment plan to back-pay the worker in full.

In another local case, a Benalla manager in the childcare industry has been back-paid $15,500 after she was underpaid redundancy entitlements.

Other recent cases include:

  • $12,600 for Mansfield administration manager not paid severance pay on redundancy or wages in lieu of notice,
  • $8900 for a young Shepparton consultant underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $7600 for a Shepparton truck driver underpaid the minimum hourly rate, annual leave, allowances and personal leave entitlements, and
  • $7300 for a warehouse worker in Shepparton not paid for rest breaks.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given all the 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.

“We are serious about our job of ensuring regional communities understand their rights and obligations in the workplace.”

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, Payroll Check and a Pay Rate Calculator.

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.

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 provide additional information on the cases listed above.

Media inquiries:

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

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