Campaign recovers $313,000 back-pay for WA workers

26 April 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the findings of a campaign focussing on the entitlements of road traffic controllers in Western Australia.

Fair Work inspectors last year checked the books of 21 businesses in the traffic control sector selected at random throughout Perth and regional WA.

They found that 10 employers (48 per cent) were compliant with their obligations, while 11 (52 per cent) were found to have contravened workplace laws by underpaying 372 employees a total of $313,300.

There were four cases of businesses underpaying employees more than $50,000.

One employer in regional WA was found to have underpaid 50 employees, including a number of young workers, a total of $66,400 in wages and overtime rates over a 12-month period in 2011-2012.

The traffic control sector was selected for a campaign after industry associations raised concerns about possible underpayments and enquiries from employees and employers to the Fair Work Ombudsman reinforced concerns about pay rates.

The campaign focused on businesses engaged in managing the traffic flow in and around road works, construction sites and public events.

Fair Work Ombudsman Group Manager, Michael Campbell, says most cases of underpayment were the result of employers not being fully aware of the pay rates that applied.

"There were also cases of employers paying employees flat rates for all hours worked, leading to underpayment of overtime rates," Mr Campbell said.

"While the contravention rate was concerning, we were pleased that all employers voluntarily rectified their underpayments and have taken steps to ensure they comply in future.

"The campaign was successful in increasing employers' awareness of workplace laws and the excellent resources available at the Fair Work Ombudsman's website to assist them."

Employers and workers seeking free advice and assistance should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
Mobile: 0457 924 146
media@fwo.gov.au

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