$24,000 back-pay for Wagga workers

Underpaid workers in Wagga have been back-paid a total of $24,700 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The biggest recovery was $13,700 for a vet who wasn’t paid wages for all hours worked and a bonus entitlement in 2010-2011, as well as annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment.

After a Fair Work Inspector contacted the employer and explained their obligations, the employer reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said that under workplace laws, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure employees receive their full lawful entitlements.

"Employers must ensure their employees are paid correctly, receive the correct entitlements and that their business is fully compliant with workplace laws," Ms James said.

"If employers get these basics right, they should find that everything else starts to fall into place."

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $5,600 for a tyre fitter not paid his annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year, and
  • $5,400 for a beautician also not paid her annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment last year.

Ms James said when Fair Work Inspectors identify a problem and contact a business, most employers cross-check their records, realise they have made an error, and fix it immediately.

"Our focus is on educating employers about their obligations and helping them to put processes in place to ensure that any errors we find don’t occur again," Ms James said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman's website - www.fairwork.gov.au - contains a variety of tools and resources to help business owners determine the correct entitlements for workers.

The 'Termination' section on the website outlines the entitlements payable in an employee's final pay and covers topics such as paying out accrued leave.

Small to medium sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation available on the website.

Other online tools include a leave calculator, Award Finder and PayCheck Plus to help determine the minimum pay rates for employees.

Employers and employees seeking further information and advice can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Tom McPherson, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0439 835 855

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