$87,000 back-pay for Sunshine Coast workers

19 September 2012

Workers on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland have shared a total of $87,300 in back-pay following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $30,000 for an apprentice in the Maroochydore area.

The 22-year-old worker - who began working as a 17-year-old - lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after he was underpaid the minimum hourly rate and annual leave entitlements between 2007 and 2011.

After a Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employee was reimbursed without the need for further action against the employer.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $19,000 for 13 hospitality workers at Coolum Beach underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $7900 for a real estate industry worker at Mooloolaba underpaid penalty rates,
  • $7700 for a Beerwah IT worker underpaid wages in lieu of notice,
  • $6900 for a receptionist at Noosa underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $5800 for a production worker near Noosa underpaid the minimum hourly rates and wages in lieu of notice,
  • $5000 for a finance industry worker in the South Burnett region underpaid annual leave entitlements on termination, and
  • $5000 for a Noosaville IT worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates.

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’re here to help and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them,” Mr Wilson says.

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

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.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, fast food, hospitality and vehicle industries.

Workers and employers can sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s eNewsletter at www.fairwork.gov.au/enewsletter.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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