Workers in North West WA back-paid $55,000

16 October 2012

Workers in Western Australia’s north-west region have been back-paid a total of $55,000 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $34,700 for four tradesmen at Port Hedland who were underpaid penalty rates and personal and annual leave entitlements over various periods between 2006 and 2012.

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

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $9500 for a Karratha labourer underpaid annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice upon termination of employment,
  • $5800 for a mechanic at Broome underpaid annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment, and
  • $5000 for a Karratha administration worker underpaid annual 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 resolve issues,” Mr Wilson says.

“These 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.

Employers and employees seeking information and advice should visit or call the Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays.

For updates on workplace laws, workers and employers can sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s eNewsletter at

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

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