$152,000 back-paid to workers in Sydney’s West and South-West

18 June 2013

Underpaid workers throughout Sydney’s West and South-West have received a total of $152,500 in back-pay after recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The recoveries include $34,100 for the estate of a Burwood health professional who passed away last year.

The employer failed to pay-out the employee’s accrued annual and long service leave entitlements after he passed away and the Fair Work Ombudsman pursued the matter at the request of the executor of the employee’s estate.

After Fair Work Inspectors contacted the business and explained its obligations the employee’s estate was reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said the case highlights the importance of employers ensuring they paid all lawful entitlements.

“Even in the unfortunate circumstance of an employee passing away, the employer must ensure that the employee’s estate is paid any accrued or outstanding entitlements,” Mr Campbell said.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $16,900 for a manager at a Guildford wool business underpaid annual leave and leave loading entitlements in 2011-2012, as well as long service leave entitlements upon termination of employment,
  • $16,000 for two workers at a Wentworth Point construction industry business not paid outstanding wages, annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice upon termination of employment in 2012,
  • $13,200 for a casual child care worker at Lidcombe not paid a casual loading between 2008 and 2010,
  • $11,300 for a food and beverage attendant at a Campbelltown restaurant not paid annual and personal leave entitlements between 2008 and 2013,
  • $10,500 for a manager at a Bankstown telecommunications industry business not paid a bonus entitlement in 2011-2012,
  • $9,400 for a supervisor at a Pendle Hill manufacturer underpaid wages and overtime rates between 2011 and 2013,
  • $7,400 for a cleaner at Roselands underpaid wages between 2009 and 2012,
  • $7,400 for an administration officer at South Granville underpaid wages, weekend and public holiday penalty rates over a 12-month period in 2012-2013,
  • $7,300 for an administration officer at Mount Druitt underpaid first aid allowances between 2008 and 2012, as well as annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice upon termination of employment,
  • $6,800 for a manager at a Moorebank manufacturing business not paid wages in lieu of notice and long service leave entitlements upon termination of employment in 2012,
  • $6,100 for an assembly worker at a Silverwater manufacturer underpaid wages in 2012, as well as wages in lieu of notice and annual leave upon termination of employment, and
  • $6,100 for a factory worker at Riverwood underpaid wages and weekend penalty rates over a 12-month period in 2011-2012.

In all cases, Fair Work Inspectors assisted the employers to voluntarily rectify the underpayments and no further action was required.

Mr Campbell said Fair Work Inspectors had also assisted the businesses to put processes in place to ensure such errors will not happen again.

“We adopt a flexible, fair approach and our aim is to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any issues we identify,” he said.

Employers and employees seeking information and advice should consult the free tools and resources available at www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

Tools available online include PayCheck Plus to help calculate current wages, an Award Finder, record-keeping templates and best practice guides covering different aspects of employment.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in a range of industries, including retail, horticulture, road transport, accommodation and hospitality, cleaning, clerical, vehicle, electrical, fast food, building and construction, hair and beauty, joinery, metal manufacturing, social and community services, plumbing and security.

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

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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