$41,000 in back-pay for Murray River workers

13 May 2013

Workers in the NSW Murray River region have been back-paid a total of $41,400 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $25,200 for two employees at a transport business near Albury who had been underpaid wages and allowances for two years from 2010.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbelal, said the underpayments occurred because the employer was not aware of the minimum wages and allowances that applied to the employees under the applicable award.

“It is important that employers ensure they understand their obligations in regards to wages and entitlements because even a small error in base rates, if left unchecked for a long period, can lead to a significant underpayment,” Mr Campbell said.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $9,800 for two drivers employed at an Albury transport business underpaid their minimum wages between 2010 and 2012, and
  • $6,400 for a Mulwala worker underpaid wages, weekend, and public holiday penalty rates over a 12-month period in 2012 to 2013.

Mr Campbell said the businesses involved in the underpayments cooperated with Fair Work Inspectors, resulting in the employees being reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

“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.

"These businesses have now put processes in place to ensure the errors will not happen again.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website - www.fairwork.gov.au - contains a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to help employers determine the correct pay and allowances for workers.

More than 224,000 employees and employers across NSW and the ACT sought advice from the Fair Work Infoline last financial year.

Workers or employers seeking support should visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

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

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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