$20,000 back-pay for Coffs Coast workers

31 May 2012

Eight workers in the Coffs Coast region of NSW have been back-paid a total of $20,500 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $13,300 for two workers at a Sawtell consultancy.

The male employees, aged in their 20s, lodged complaints with the Fair Work Ombudsman after they were not paid for all hours worked.

After a Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employees were reimbursed amounts of $8900 and $4400 respectively without the need for further action against the employer.

In another local case, six cleaners at Coffs Harbour have been back-paid $7200 after they were underpaid the minimum hourly rate between January, 2010 and April, 2011.

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.

"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 with the first month.

"These two 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.

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
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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