$65,000 back-pay for Coober Pedy workers

19 January 2012

Eleven workers at Coober Pedy in South Australia have been back-paid a total of $65,900 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The workers - who all worked at the same business - were underpaid the minimum hourly rate.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments when they randomly audited the employer’s records.

After an inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employees were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action.

The largest recovery for an individual worker was $11,300.

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.

"It's a fact that some businesses inadvertently breach workplace laws. When we find mistakes, we're here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them," says Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson.

"This Coober Pedy business has 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.

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a single point of contact for people working or running a business in Australia to get accurate and timely information about their workplace rights and obligations.

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.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to assist business-owners 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.

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

Media inquiries:

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

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