Fair Work Ombudsman recovers almost $90,000 back-pay for 29 Gippsland transport workers
14 January 2011
Twenty-nine Gippsland transport workers are being reimbursed almost $90,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.
The workers - all from the same company - were underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and superannuation.
After Traralgon-based Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the company has agreed to back-pay all entitlements in full.
The largest individual underpayment was $5700.
The transport company was randomly audited as part of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s regular auditing activity.
In another local case, a South Gippsland manager has been back-paid $13,400 after he was underpaid annual leave entitlements.
And in the La Trobe Valley, a construction worker has been back-paid $11,700 after he was not paid personal leave.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the employers all 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 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.”
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.
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.
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 identify the businesses involved or provide additional information on the cases listed above.
Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
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