$155,900 recovered for underpaid workers in Melbourne’s East and South-East

8 March 2011

More than $155,000 has been reimbursed to a number of underpaid workers in Melbourne’s East and South-East following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest amount recovered was $15,300 for six gardeners in Dingley who were underpaid their minimum hourly rate and not paid for overtime or other penalty rates.

When Fair Work inspectors contacted the company after receiving a complaint from the workers, the employer voluntarily rectified the matter without the need for further action.

In a separate case at Elsternwick, a kitchen hand was back-paid $14,700 after it was discovered he was not paid the correct hourly rate and other penalty rates.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $13,800 for a Bentleigh East machine operator underpaid the hourly rate,
  • $13,600 for a storeman in Burwood not paid casual loading and penalty rates,
  • $13,300 for two Caulfield warehouse workers underpaid casual loadings,
  • $10,500 for a Bentleigh East tradesman not paid annual leave and long service leave or for rostered days off,
  • $8900 for a sales representative in Oakleigh not paid deductions for superannuation salary sacrifice,
  • $8500 for a Surrey Hills receptionist unpaid for time worked,
  • $8000 for a shop assistant in Camberwell underpaid the hourly rate and not paid overtime or penalty rates,
  • $7700 for a Blackburn shop assistant underpaid the hourly rate and not paid annual leave,
  • $7200 for a warehouse worker in Surrey Hills not paid overtime or for annual and personal leave,
  • $6100 for a Kilsyth production worker underpaid the hourly rate, overtime and meal allowances and not paid annual leave loading,
  • $5900 for a hairdresser in Noble Park underpaid the hourly rate, annual leave and overtime,
  • $5800 and $5400 respectively for two Dandenong warehouse workers not paid seven weeks wages,
  • $5700 for a plumber in Vermont not paid allowances or for rostered days off,
  • $5700 for a Moorabbin book keeper unpaid annual leave, and
  • $5200 for a finance officer in Cranbourne underpaid the hourly rate.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says most of the errors stemmed from employers not being aware of correct award rates in their industry.

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, horticulture, hospitality and fast food industries.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Note: we are unable to provide additional information about the cases listed. 

Media inquiries:

Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146 

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Page reference No: 4931