Gold Coast worker back-paid $34,000

18 March 2013

A Gold Coast worker who had been underpaid for almost 15 years has been back-paid $34,600 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The worker, a manager at a Surfers Paradise retail business, was underpaid annual leave entitlements and penalty rates between 1998 and 2012.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson, said the case highlighted the importance of ensuring staff are paid correctly.

"Even a small error, if left unchecked for a long period, can lead to a significant underpayment, as occurred in this case," Mr Wilson said.

"That's why it's important that employers understand their obligations so they can ensure they get it right the first time around."

The worker lodged a complaint after he left the business, prompting an investigation by the workplace regulator.

After Fair Work Inspectors explained its obligations, the business reimbursed the former staff member.

The case is one of a number of financial reimbursements for workers on the Gold Coast recently following local investigations by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Others include:

  • $6900 for a retail manager at a Southport business underpaid wages owed and annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment, and
  • $6600 for a Gold Coast apprentice hairdresser underpaid wages, annual and personal leave entitlements, overtime rates and penalty rates between 2009 and 2011.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson, said when Fair Work Inspectors identify a problem and contact a business, most employers are willingly correct the issue.

"When we find mistakes, we're here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily resolve issues and in the overwhelming majority of cases, that’s what occurs," Mr Wilson said.

Last year the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered just over $8.6 million in back-pay for 4906 workers in Queensland.

More than 148,000 Queensland employees and employers sought advice from the Fair Work Infoline in the last financial year.

Employers and employees seeking information and advice should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Infoline on 13 13 94.

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

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
penelope.rowe@fwo.gov.au

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