$28,000 back-pay for SA service station workers

15 July 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered more than $28,000 for workers in South Australia as part of a campaign focusing on service stations across Western Australia, the Northern Territory and SA.

Of the 76 audits completed in South Australia, 40 employers (53 per cent) were found to be compliant with workplace laws, while 36 (47 per cent) were in breach.

Most of the service stations in breach had only record-keeping and pay slip breaches, while 12, located throughout Adelaide and at regional areas including Ceduna and Mount Barker, had underpaid 54 employees a total of $28,229.

Several employees at regional service stations with road houses attached were underpaid as a result of being misclassified as roadhouse attendants, rather than console operators.

Fair Work Inspectors have completed audits of 190 randomly selected service stations across WA, SA and the NT as part of the campaign and found 109 (57 per cent) were meeting their obligations under workplace laws, while 81 (43 per cent) were not.

Most of the businesses in breach had only record-keeping, pay slip and technical breaches, while 34 employers had underpaid 462 employees a total of $249,870. The NT had the highest compliance rate, followed by WA (60 per cent) and SA (53 per cent).

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director, Steve Ronson, said Fair Work Inspectors assisted employers to voluntarily rectify non-compliance issues and put processes in place to ensure they were not repeated.

“While the overall contravention rate was concerning, it is pleasing that all employers were willing to back-pay their staff without the need for further action,” Mr Ronson said.

Mr Ronson said the campaign - which focussed on a range of independent, franchised and company-owned retailers in metropolitan and regional areas - was prompted by the sector being a persistent source of complaints in WA, SA and the NT.

“The aim of the campaign was to ensure workers were receiving their full entitlements and to make sure that employers in the industry were aware of their obligations under workplace laws,” he said.

“The campaign provided an opportunity for employers in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory to ensure they were aware of the free resources available to help them comply with their obligations.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website - www.fairwork.gov.au - has a range of resources for employers, including templates for time-and-wages sheets and pay slips and PayCheck Plus, to help employers calculate the correct pay for staff.

Employers and workers seeking support should visit the website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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