Kimberley workers back-paid $21,000

16 January 2012

Several workers in the Kimberley region of Western Australia have been back-paid a total of $21,300 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $8100 for an office manager in Broome.

The male employee - who worked for the company for nearly 18 months - lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid accrued annual leave entitlements on termination.

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

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $6500 for a chef on a mining site not paid redundancy entitlements, and
  • $5900 for a mine worker who was underpaid wages.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $1.788 million back-pay for 1480 underpaid workers in Western Australia last financial year. Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says that 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.

"We're here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily resolve issues," Mr Wilson says.

"These Kimberley businesses 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 that the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Assisted Voluntary Resolution 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.

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 Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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