Darwin audits recoup $39,000 for Mitchell Street and Wharf Precinct workers

20 January 2011

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered more than $39,000 in back-pay for over 250 Darwin hospitality workers.

Sixteen hospitality businesses in Mitchell Street and the Wharf Precinct were scrutinised to ensure compliance with record-keeping and time and wages obligations.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the move followed concerns that junior staff and backpackers were not receiving their lawful entitlements.

“While the majority of businesses were compliant, inspectors discovered two employers were underpaying their staff the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates, shift loadings and allowances,” he said.

Mr Campbell says both businesses co-operated with inspectors to reimburse current employees and former workers who could be contacted and have put processes in place to ensure the contraventions are not repeated in future.

Money owned to former employees who could not be contacted will be held in trust. The Fair Work Ombudsman has an unclaimed monies facility on its website to assist workers who think they may have been underpaid in a former job to check whether they are owed back wages.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently assessing additional hospitality businesses in Alice Springs and Katherine.

A number of tools and user-friendly resources are available on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website - www.fairwork.gov.au - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay.          

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.

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.

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.

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