Nearly $30,000 back-pay for Whyalla workers

19 June 2012

Two workers at Whyalla in South Australia’s Iron Triangle have been back-paid a total of $27,200 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $18,500 for a manager in the engineering industry.

The male employee in his 40s – who was employed for six years – lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid redundancy entitlements.

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.

In another local case, a worker in the manufacturing industry has been back-paid $8700 after he was underpaid redundancy entitlements and wages in lieu of notice.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $1.579 million back-pay for 1048 underpaid workers in South Australia last financial year.

Between July 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012 the Agency recovered a total of $78 million for 47,857 underpaid workers nationally.

“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.

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.

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

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.

Employers or employees alike seeking information and advice should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Infoline on 13 13 94 weekdays.

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

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

Resources also include payslip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist, template letters and fact sheets on dozens of topics including leave, industrial action, public holidays, enterprise bargaining, gender pay equality and family-friendly workplaces.

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