$66k back-pay for Top End security workers

11 September 2012

Dozens of security workers at two businesses in the Northern Territory have shared a total of $66,300 in back-pay following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $38,700 for 26 security workers at an Alice Springs business.

The Fair Work Ombudsman randomly audited the business and found the workers were underpaid penalty rates between July, 2010 and June, 2011. Individual underpayments ranged between $47 and $6700.

In a separate case, the Fair Work Ombudsman randomly audited a Darwin security business and recovered $27,600 for 34 workers who had been underpaid penalty rates between July, 2010 and June, 2011.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the businesses and explained their obligations, the employees were reimbursed without the need for further action against the employers.

Both underpayment cases were discovered during the Fair Work Ombudsman’s recent national campaign focussing on the security industry, in which inspectors recovered a total of $464,000 for 730 employees nationally.

Other recent recoveries in the Northern Territory include:

  • $20,000 for two Darwin carers underpaid allowances,
  • $11,800 for a Darwin hospitality manger underpaid annual leave entitlements on termination, and
  • $6000 for a driver at a remote mining site underpaid the minimum hourly rate.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says when Fair Work inspectors identify an issue and contact a business, most employers check their records, realise a problem has occurred, and fix it immediately.

“It’s a fact that some businesses inadvertently breach workplace laws. When we find mistakes, we give practical advice to employers on how to fix them,” Mr Wilson says.

“The NT 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 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 - www.fairwork.gov.au - or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

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 security, cleaning, 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:

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

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