Melbourne workers back-paid $169,000

5 December 2012

Workers in Melbourne’s CBD and surrounding suburbs have been back-paid a total of $169,000 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $62,500 for a manager at a South Melbourne business who was underpaid wages, annual leave entitlements and redundancy entitlements upon termination of employment.

After a Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employee was promptly reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $15,000 for an Elwood retail assistant underpaid penalty rates between 2006 and 2012,
  • $12,000 for a manager at South Melbourne underpaid wages in lieu of notice, annual leave and long service leave entitlements upon termination of employment,
  • $11,400 for a young international student working as a night manager at East Melbourne who was underpaid wages between 2010 and 2011,
  • $11,200 for a computer programmer in the CBD underpaid wages over a six-month period in 2009,
  • $11,000 for a Kew marketing worker underpaid redundancy entitlements upon termination of employment,
  • $9000 for a supervisor at Lower Templestowe underpaid redundancy and long service leave entitlements upon termination of employment,
  • $8200 for a cleaner in the CBD underpaid annual leave loading and entitlements, allowances and wages between 2009 and 2012,
  • $8200 for a CBD apprentice underpaid wages and annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment,
  • $7900 for a project manager at St Kilda underpaid wages in lieu of notice upon termination of employment,
  • $7200 for a South Yarra hospitality worker underpaid wages between 2008 and 2009, and
  • $5400 for a manager at Collingwood underpaid redundancy entitlements upon termination of employment.

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

“When we find mistakes, we’re here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily resolve issues,” Mr Wilson says.

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

The Fair Work Ombudsman recouped $7.7 million in back-pay for 3877 workers in Victoria last financial year.

Between July 1, 2009 and 30 September, 2012, the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $100.2 million in back-pay for more than 56,000 unpaid workers in Australia.

Since March, 2006, the Fair Work Ombudsman and its predecessor agencies have recouped a total of $185.5 million for 124,000 workers.

Employers and employees seeking information and advice should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays.

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

Free documentation is available Online 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 the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, vehicle, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

The new Fair Work Handbook has been designed to help employers better understand their workplace obligations. The Handbook outlines the aspects of the Fair Work Act that employers must be familiar with and also helps them to prevent and resolve workplace issues within their business. You can find the Handbook at www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/employers.

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

Media inquiries:

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

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