Back-pay for Perth workers tops $144,000

20 November 2012

Workers in Perth’s CBD and surrounding suburbs have been back-paid a total of $144,400 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $31,000 for more than 100 workers - including many young international students - at a business in the Fremantle area who were underpaid wages and penalty rates between 2010 and 2011.

The Fair Work Ombudsman discovered the underpayments during an education and compliance campaign in 2010-2011.

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

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $25,800 for two building supervisors at Southern River underpaid redundancy entitlements and wages in lieu of notice upon termination of their employment,
  • $16,500 for two Midland retail workers underpaid wages and penalty rates between 2011 and 2012,
  • $16,200 for a West Perth IT consultant underpaid redundancy entitlements and wages in lieu of notice upon termination,
  • $11,600 for six hospitality workers at Booragoon underpaid wages between 2011 and 2012,
  • $8900 for a CBD IT consultant not paid annual leave and accrued time off in lieu entitlements upon termination,
  • $8000 for a Brookton worker underpaid wages between 2010 and 2011,
  • $7900 for a Midland cleaner underpaid wages and accrued annual leave entitlements,
  • $7200 for a worker at Marangaroo underpaid redundancy entitlements and payment in lieu of notice upon termination of employment,
  • $5700 for a retail worker at Bibra Lake underpaid penalty rates between 2007 and 2012, and
  • $5600 for a Kenwick worker underpaid payment in lieu of notice and long service leave entitlements upon termination of employment.

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.

“When we find mistakes, we’re here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them,” Mr Wilson says.

“These Perth businesses have now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure they will not happen again.”

Between July 1, 2009 and 30 September, 2012, the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $100.2 million in back-pay for more than 56,000 unpaid workers in Australia.

Since March, 2006, the Fair Work Ombudsman and its predecessor agencies have recouped a total of $185.5 million for 124,000 workers.

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a single point of contact for people working or running a business in Australia to get accurate and timely information about their workplace rights and obligations.

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.

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.

PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rates of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, road transport, hair and beauty, security, vehicle, social and community services, horticulture, metal manufacturing, fast food and hospitality industries.

For regular updates on workplace laws, workers and employers can sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s eNewsletter at www.fairwork.gov.au/enewsletter.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
Penelope.Rowe@fwo.gov.au

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