$100,000 back-pay for 500 supermarket workers

2 August 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the findings of a campaign focussing on the entitlements of supermarket workers in Western Australia.

Fair Work inspectors checked the books of 86 supermarkets in Perth and various regional centres to ensure they were paying employees correctly and complying with pay slip and record-keeping requirements.

Of the 83 audits complete, inspectors found 63 supermarkets (76 per cent) were compliant with their workplace obligations, while 20 (24 per cent) recorded contraventions. A further three businesses remain under investigation.

Seven supermarkets had record-keeping or pay slip contraventions, while 13 - all located in suburban Perth - were asked to reimburse a total of $102,129 to 496 employees found to have been underpaid.

The largest recovery was $29,663 for 106 workers at a supermarket in Perth’s northern suburbs.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully says it was encouraging that most of the employers with contraventions voluntarily rectified their issues without the need for further action.

It was also encouraging that of the 28 supermarkets audited in regional centres, none had underpaid staff and only two had record-keeping or pay slip issues.

Forty-two of the supermarkets audited during the campaign were previously found to be in contravention of workplace laws between 2007 and 2010.

Fifteen of the supermarkets were again found to be in contravention. Further enforcement action is being considered in at least one of these cases.

Workers or employers seeking support should get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website - www.fairwork.gov.au - or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to help business-owners calculate the correct pay for their staff.

Free documentation is also available for employers to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, including letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay slip templates, leave application forms and a self-audit check list.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in a range of industries including retail and hospitality.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
Penelope.Rowe@fwo.gov.au

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