Almost $16,000 recovered for Narrabri workers

28 May 2012

Two workers at Narrabri, in north-west NSW, have been back-paid a total of $15,900 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $8000 for a driver in the transport industry.

The 50-year-old employee lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid the minimum hourly rate between September, 2011 and March, 2012.

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

In another local case, a retail manager has been back-paid $7900 after he was underpaid accrued annual leave entitlements on termination of his employment.

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 he understands that some businesses inadvertently breach workplace laws and Fair Work inspectors always take a fair and flexible approach when they identify contraventions.

"When we find mistakes, we're here to help and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them," Mr Wilson said.

"Both 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 (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 - - 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.

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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