Wollongong security officers back-paid $36,400

19 January 2011

Six security officers in Wollongong have been back-paid $36,400 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The biggest individual underpayment was $12,500.

A worker lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he had been underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and allowances, annual leave and minimum shift entitlements for the past three years.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, all the workers were back-paid in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says that given the company co-operated and swiftly rectified the matter, there will be no further action against the employer.

“Our preference is to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues.”

“Underpayments like this illustrate why the Fair Work Ombudsman places such as strong focus on educating employers and assisting them to understand and comply with workplace laws.”

Last financial year the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered more than $1.1 million for 1124 workers as part of a national security industry campaign.

Mr Campbell says that in most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

“However, employers need to regularly review their Award or agreement to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations to their workers,” he said

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and user-friendly resources 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 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 and horticulture industries.

Employers and employees seeking advice or assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. Translations are available by calling 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
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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