Workers in Melbourne’s south and south-east back-paid $262,000

18 September 2012

Dozens of workers in Melbourne’s south and south-eastern suburbs have been back-paid a total of $262,500 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $74,400 for 35 security industry workers at Berwick.

The Fair Work Ombudsman randomly audited the business and found that workers were underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates over a 12-month period in 2010-2011.

Individual underpayments ranged between $38 and $10,800.

After a Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, a payment plan was agreed to ensure the employees were reimbursed all money owed. No further action against the employer was required.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $39,900 for 21 retail workers in Clayton underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $18,200 for a trainer at Moorabbin underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $13,900 for an Elwood beauty industry worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $12,700 for two hospitality workers at Burwood underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and annual leave entitlements,
  • $10,900 for a Wantirna South hospitality worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and annual leave entitlements,
  • $9900 for a Malvern consultant underpaid wages in lieu of notice and annual leave entitlements,
  • $9300 for a Cheltenham tradesman underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $9300 for a Hallam labourer underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $8400 for a Springvale accountant underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and annual leave entitlements,
  • $8100 for a Cheltenham labourer underpaid superannuation entitlements,
  • $7400 for a Moorabbin storeman underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $6500 for a Notting Hill technician underpaid penalty rates,
  • $6400 for a Wantirna South apprentice underpaid penalty rates, allowances and annual leave entitlements,
  • $5800 for a Rowville waitress underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $5500 for an apprentice in Langwarrin underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and allowances,
  • $5500 for a hospitality worker at Mount Eliza underpaid the minimum hourly rate and not paid for all hours worked,
  • $5300 for a Cheltenham machine operator underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and allowances, and
  • $5100 for a Ringwood salesperson underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates.

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 Melbourne businesses 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.

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.

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.

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.

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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