Illawarra workers back-paid $24,000

24 May 2012

Three workers in the Illawarra region of NSW have been back-paid a total of $24,900 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $13,800 for a care worker at Wollongong.

The male employee in his 40s - who had been employed for 10 years - lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid accrued annual leave entitlements on termination.

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

Other local recoveries include:

  • $6000 for a Wollongong trades assistant underpaid penalty rates, and
  • $5100 for a chef at Shellharbour underpaid the minimum hourly rate.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $8.215 million back-pay for 4182 underpaid workers in NSW last financial year.

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

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.

"We're here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily resolve issues," Mr Wilson said.

"The three 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 that the Fair Work Ombudsman's Assisted Voluntary Resolution 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 - - 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 and a self-audit check list.

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.

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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