140,000 back-paid to Queensland hardware store workers

26 June 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman today released the findings of a campaign focussing on the entitlements of retail workers in Queensland hardware stores.

Fair Work Inspectors audited 368 randomly selected businesses and found 229 (62 per cent) were meeting their obligations under workplace laws, while 139 (38 per cent) were not. A further three audits remain ongoing.

Of the businesses in contravention, 76 were found to have underpaid 191 employees a total of $139,700 in wages and entitlements, while 63 businesses had only record-keeping and pay slip contraventions.

Businesses that had underpaid staff were at locations including Brisbane, Beaudesert, Bundaberg, Cairns, Childers, Gatton, Gold Coast, Mackay, Nambour, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville.

Hardware stores in the Rockhampton and Mackay regions were the worst performers, with more than half of the outlets having to back-pay staff.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said in cases of contraventions, Fair Work Inspectors worked with employers to rectify issues and put processes in place to ensure they get it right in the future.

“While the contravention rate was concerning, it is pleasing that all employers voluntarily back-paid employees all money owed without the need for further action,” Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell said the campaign, which focussed mainly on smaller and independent hardware retailers, was prompted by the high number of complaints from workers in the sector in Queensland.

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

“The campaign provided an opportunity for employers 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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