$72,000 back-pay for Bendigo workers

16 July 2012

Dozens of workers at Bendigo in Victoria’s Goldfields region have been back-paid more than $72,000 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Details of the most recent recoveries were announced today by Fair Work Ombudsman Group Manager Policy, Education & Partnerships, Bill Loizides, during a visit to Bendigo.

Mr Loizides says the largest recovery was $32,500 for 31 hospitality workers.

The underpayments were discovered during a routine audit which found the employees, both adults and juniors, had been underpaid their penalty rates between 2009 and 2011.

Individual underpayments ranged between $34 and $3900.

Mr Loizides says that after a Fair Work inspector briefed the employer on its obligations, the workers were reimbursed all outstanding entitlements without the need for further action.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $24,900 for 10 apprentices underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and allowances,
  • $8000 for a clerk underpaid the minimum hourly rate, and
  • $7500 for a labourer underpaid the minimum hourly rate and annual leave entitlements.

Mr Loizides says that when Fair Work inspectors identify an issue 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 help and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them,” he says.

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

Mr Loizides says 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.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, road transport, hair and beauty, security, vehicle, social and community services, horticulture, metal manufacturing, fast food and hospitality industries.

For regular updates on workplace laws workers and employers can sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s eNewsletter at www.fairwork.gov.au/enewsletter.

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

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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