$67,000 back-pay for Canberra workers

15 January 2012

Forty-five workers at a health-industry business in Canberra have been back-paid a total of $15,700 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Fair Work Ombudsman randomly audited the business and found that workers had been underpaid overtime, travel allowances and minimum shift pay.

After a Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employees were promptly reimbursed without the need for further action against the employer.

Other recent recoveries in the Capital region include:

  • $14,000 for 147 retail workers in Queanbeyan underpaid allowances,
  • $8300 for a Mitchell supervisor who had unauthorised deductions from his termination payments,
  • $6400 for a store manager in Woden not paid for all hours worked and not paid accrued annual leave entitlements on termination,
  • $6000 for a caretaker in Canberra underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $5800 for a Canberra barista underpaid annual leave and redundancy pay,
  • $5600 for a cook in Canberra not paid for all hours worked, and
  • $5400 for a Woden retail worker not paid for all hours worked.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $384,000 back-pay for 224 underpaid workers in the ACT last financial year. Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says 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.

"All the businesses involved have now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure it will not happen again."

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

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.

A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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, a self-audit check list and workplace complaint form.

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.

PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rates of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0457 924 146

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