Far North QLD workers back-paid $42,000

29 May 2012

Five workers in Far North Queensland have been back-paid a total of $42,700 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $10,000 for a hospitality supervisor at Cairns.

The 31-year-old male employee lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates between September, 2009 and September, 2011.

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:

  • $9400 for a Cape York deckhand underpaid penalty rates,
  • $8900 for a Cairns labourer underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $8400 for a Smithfield director underpaid redundancy entitlements, and
  • $6000 for a labourer at Tully underpaid the minimum hourly rate and not paid for all hours worked.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $6.082 million back-pay for 5142 underpaid workers in Queensland last financial year.

Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

"When we find mistakes, we're here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them," says Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson.

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.

"These Far North Queensland businesses have now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure they will not happen again," he said.

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.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is helping to make compliance with workplace laws easier by working co-operatively with key stakeholders, including employer groups, unions and industry associations, to increase understanding of workplace obligations.

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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