Hobart workers back-paid almost $140,000

28 March 2012

Dozens of workers in Hobart and surrounding suburbs have been back-paid a total of $137,400 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $91,300 for 45 shop assistants at a business in central Hobart.

The workers were underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and not paid their minimum engagement hours between March, 2006 and January, 2010.

The Fair Work Ombudsman launched a full audit of the employer after receiving a complaint from a worker.

Back payments to individual workers ranged from $28 to $14,400.

After a Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employees were reimbursed all the money owed.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $11,400 for a professional in Hobart not paid for all hours worked,
  • $10,900 for a Hobart booking attendant not paid penalty rates for three years,
  • $9000 for six customer service staff in Glenorchy underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $8500 for five Rokeby fast food workers not paid penalty rates, and
  • $6300 for a Lauderdale hairdresser not paid annual leave entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $858,000 back-pay for 1186 underpaid workers in Tasmania last financial year. Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

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.

“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,” he said.

Mr Wilson says the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Assisted Voluntary Resolution (AVR) 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. 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.

Media inquiries:

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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