$66,000 back-pay for Gold Coast workers

21 June 2012

Eighteen workers in the greater Gold Coast region have shared a total of $66,500 in back-pay following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $16,800 for an Ormeau office assistant.

The female employee in her 20s lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after she was underpaid the minimum hourly rate for nine years between 2002 and 2011.

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

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $14,000 for six shop assistants at Surfers Paradise underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and allowances,
  • $11,300 for eight Gold Coast drivers underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and minimum engagement hours,
  • $9800 for a Gold Coast Hinterland truck driver underpaid penalty rates,
  • $8600 for an Upper Coomera worker underpaid termination entitlements, and
  • $6000 for a Gold Coast carpenter underpaid annual leave entitlements.

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.

“When we find mistakes, we’re here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them,” Mr Wilson says.

The 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 Wilson says 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 recovered a total of $6.082 million in back-pay for 5142 underpaid workers in the Queensland last financial year. Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

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 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, hospitality and vehicle industries.

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

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