$308,000 back-pay for south and south-west Sydney workers

13 March 2012

Workers in Sydney’s south and south-west have been back-paid a total of $308,600 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $40,000 for an office manager in the Villawood area.

The 50-year-old male employee - who was employed by the same company between 1998 and 2011 - lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was not paid 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.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $25,000 for a worker at a Chester Hill business underpaid annual leave entitlements on termination,
  • $21,100 for a Marrickville manufacturing worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate and not paid penalty rates,
  • $19,800 for 19 cleaners at a Wattle Grove business underpaid casual loading,
  • $18,000 for a Bankstown kitchen-hand underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $17,800 for a Yennora manufacturing worker underpaid wages,
  • $15,100 for eight Croydon Park fast food workers underpaid penalty rates,
  • $14,000 for a Green Acre tradesman not paid wages,
  • $12,900 for four Cabramatta workers in the retail industry not paid penalty rates or the minimum engagement hours,
  • $10,100 for a Campbelltown supervisor underpaid severance pay,
  • $10,000 for a Mascot driver underpaid overtime and annual leave entitlements,
  • $9000 for fast food worker in Caringbah underpaid the minimum hourly rate, leave loading and notice of termination,
  • $7500 for a Guildford apprentice not paid wages for 15 weeks,
  • $7400 for a factory worker in Sylvania underpaid severance entitlements,
  • $7000 for a Kogarah receptionist underpaid the minimum hourly rate and annual leave entitlements,
  • $6800 for a Canterbury site manager underpaid accrued annual leave entitlements,
  • $6700 for a Mascot clerk underpaid penalty rates,
  • $6500 for a Botany healthcare worker underpaid penalty rates,
  • $6300 for a manager in Engadine underpaid annual leave entitlements on termination,
  • $5700 for a Narellan trainee underpaid the minimum hourly rate for 18 months,
  • $5600 for a Fairfield administration worker underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $5500 for a Cabramatta automotive worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates for the past two years,
  • $5400 for a Campbelltown professional underpaid annual leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice,
  • $5200 for a Wetherill Park worker in the entertainment industry underpaid allowances,
  • $5200 for a Villawood delivery driver underpaid allowances and penalties for more than three years,
  • $5000 for a Fairfield carpenter underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $5000 for a young hairdresser in Brighton-Le-Sands underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalties, allowances and personal leave, and
  • $5000 for an office manager in Preston underpaid annual leave entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $8.215 million back-pay for 4182 underpaid workers in NSW last financial year. Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says 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.

“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 Mr Wilson.

He says that the Sydney businesses involved have now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure they will not happen again.

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, hospitality and vehicle industries.

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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