Perth security officers back-paid $217,000

23 January 2011

A Perth security company has reimbursed 92 of its staff a total of $217,400 after a targeted investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

The single biggest underpayment was $15,500.

The northern suburbs company was randomly audited as part of a national campaign last year which recovered more than $1.1 million for 1124 underpaid security staff.

The campaign, which focused on Western Australian security firms running security patrols and crowd control, recouped $119,000 for 43 workers at eight separate companies.

The latest case takes the total amount recovered in WA to $336,400.

Fair Work inspectors found that the company had failed to register its workplace agreement and was paying a flat-rate of pay which resulted in underpayment of shift allowances, weekend penalty rates and overtime entitlements.

After inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the company voluntarily agreed to repay all current and former employees their outstanding entitlements.

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.

“We acknowledge that accidental breaches of workplace laws do and will occur,” he said. “Our preference is to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues.”

However, Mr Campbell says the national campaign findings highlight the need for leadership within the security industry to significantly improve compliance with workplace relations laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and user-friendly resources on its website - www.fairwork.gov.au – to assist employers, including a web page specifically tailored to the security industry.

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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