$73,000 in back-pay for Sydney workers

27 June 2013

Underpaid workers in Sydney’s CBD and inner suburbs have been back-paid a total of $73,900 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The biggest recovery was $42,000 for six employees at a CBD restaurant underpaid penalty rates for overtime, weekend and public holiday work over a 12-month period in 2010-2011.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said the underpayments occurred as a result of the employees being paid flat weekly salaries that did not factor in the penalty rates they were entitled to.

“Employers paying staff salaries need to ensure they take into account any overtime, weekend and late-night penalty rates payable to staff,” Mr Campbell said.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $12,400 for a senior manager at a Surry Hills hotel not paid wages in lieu of notice and redundancy entitlements upon termination of employment in 2012,
  • $8,800 for a Darlinghurst software developer not paid wages in lieu of notice and annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year,
  • $5,700 for a health worker at Pyrmont not paid personal leave entitlements earlier this year, as well as wages in lieu of notice and annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment, and
  • $5,000 for a merchandiser at an Alexandria clothing manufacturer not paid wages in lieu of notice and annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year.

In all cases, the businesses co-operated with Fair Work Inspectors and the workers were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

“Our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” Mr Campbell said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website - www.fairwork.gov.au - contains a number of tools and resources to help business owners understand their obligations, including a ‘final pay’ page which outlines the entitlements payable to workers upon termination of employment.

Other website tools include an Award Finder and PayCheck Plus, which helps to determine minimum pay rates and takes into account payments for overtime, loadings and penalty rates.

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

In the last financial year the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered over $17.4 million in back-pay for more than 5000 underpaid workers in NSW and the ACT.

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
media@fwo.gov.au

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