Almost $35,000 back-pay for Mackay workers

21 March 2012

Five workers at Mackay in North Queensland have been back-paid $34,500 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $15,000 for a trades assistant.

The 29-year-old male employee lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid the minimum hourly rate and overtime rates between November, 2009 and December, 2010.

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:

  • $9900 for a Mackay kitchen hand underpaid annual leave and long service leave entitlements, and
  • $9600 for three Mackay security workers underpaid penalty rates.

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,” says Mr Wilson.

The Mackay 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, between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011 the Agency recovered a total of $68.2 million for 41,224 underpaid workers.

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 onTwitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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