$30,000 back-paid to workers in Sydney’s North

16 April 2013

Underpaid workers in Sydney's Northern and North Western suburbs have been back-paid a total of $30,700 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The biggest recovery was $10,300 for a sales consultant at a Bella Vista business not paid outstanding wages and accrued annual leave entitlements upon termination in 2012.

In another case, a worker at a North Ryde retail business was back-paid $9,100 after being underpaid wages over a five-month period in 2010-2011.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $6,200 for an foreign national working as an engineer at Castle Hill who was underpaid wages in lieu of notice upon termination in 2012, and
  • $5,100 for a chef at a Manly restaurant not paid for all hours worked and underpaid annual leave loading over a 12-month period in 2011-2012.

In all cases, after Fair Work inspectors contacted the businesses and explained their obligations the employees were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

Fair Work Ombudsman Group Manager, Michael Campbell, said 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 Campbell said.

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

Mr Campbell said a common cause of many of the underpayments was employers' lack of awareness of the wages and entitlements payable to their employees, including entitlements owed when the employment ended.

"A big part of our role here at the Fair Work Ombudsman is to assist people - both employers and employees - to understand and comply with workplace laws as easily as possible," he said.

Business-owners and employees can check the pay rates and minimum entitlements that apply in their industry by visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman's website at www.fairwork.gov.au or by calling the Infoline on 13 13 94.

More than 224,000 employees and employers in NSW and the ACT sought advice from the Fair Work Infoline last financial year, and the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered over $17.4 million in back-pay for more than 5000 NSW and ACT workers.

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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