$416,000 back-pay for Adelaide workers

17 April 2012

More than 120 workers in and around Adelaide have been back-paid a total of $416,000 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $140,000 for 15 manufacturing workers at Wingfield.

The employees lodged complaints with the Fair Work Ombudsman when they were not paid redundancy entitlements.

The largest individual underpayment was $19,800.

A Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations and the employees were promptly reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $40,000 for a manager at Port Adelaide underpaid wages in lieu of notice, annual leave, redundancy and superannuation entitlements,
  • $38,900 for four retail workers in the CBD underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $19,700 for 68 workers at a Salisbury business underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $17,500 for a Wynn Vale salesman underpaid allowances and annual leave entitlements on termination,
  • $13,000 for seven retail workers in the CBD underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $12,600 for a labourer at Underdale underpaid annual leave entitlements on termination,
  • $11,500 for a Mawson Lakes cook not paid penalty rates,
  • $11,500 for a Torrensville tradesman underpaid the minimum hourly rate and overtime allowances,
  • $10,200 for a Cavan cook underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and not paid for all hours worked,
  • $9300 for a driver at Wingfield underpaid wages in lieu of notice and redundancy entitlements,
  • $9100 for 11 security guards in the CBD underpaid overtime and penalty rates,
  • $9000 for a tradesman at Lonsdale underpaid wages in lieu of notice and long service leave entitlements,
  • $8900 for two agricultural workers at Gumeracha underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $8700 for a hairdresser in the CBD underpaid the minimum hourly rate, annual leave and termination entitlements,
  • $8500 for a Hindmarsh tradesman underpaid redundancy entitlements,
  • $8500 for a Torrensville tradesman not paid severance entitlements,
  • $7800 for a construction worker at Pooraka underpaid annual leave and redundancy entitlements,
  • $7300 for a Forreston driver underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $6700 for a clerk in the CBD underpaid redundancy entitlements,
  • $6200 for a long-distance driver at Green Fields not paid casual loading,
  • $5700 for a Campbelltown manager not paid penalty rates, and
  • $5400 for a shop assistant in the CBD underpaid penalty rates.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $1.579 million back-pay for 1048 underpaid workers in South Australia last financial year. Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says when Fair Work inspectors identify an issue and contact a business, most employers check their records, realise a problem has occurred, and fix it immediately.

“It’s a fact that some businesses inadvertently breach workplace laws. When we find mistakes, we’re here to help and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them,” he said.

“The Adelaide businesses involved have now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure they will not happen again.”

Mr Wilson says the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Assisted Voluntary Resolution team is now achieving resolution of about half its referrals within the first month.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is helping to make compliance with workplace laws easier by:

  • Providing a range of free, easy-to-use tools and resources on its website - www.fairwork.gov.au - accessible 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week,
  • Assisting employers and employees who call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 between 8 am and 6 pm weekdays with advice, information and assistance about their workplace rights and obligations,
  • Pro-actively conducting national, state and regional targeted campaigns for different industry sectors in various geographic locations,
  • Working co-operatively with key stakeholders, including employer groups, unions and industry associations, to increase understanding of workplace obligations,
  • Working with major national employers and franchisors to ensure they meet their obligations under the Fair Work Act, National Employment Standards and other applicable industrial instruments,
  • Promoting its various tools and resources through the media, external communication campaigns and social media to generate awareness of workplace rights and obligations.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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