$94,000 back-paid to Sydney workers

14 November 2013

Underpaid workers in Sydney's West and South-West have been repaid $94,300 in wages and entitlements following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A common cause of many of the underpayments was employers failing to pay the correct entitlements to workers upon termination of employment.

The biggest repayment was $36,800 for a manager at a Parramatta community services organisation who wasn't paid her annual leave, long service leave and redundancy entitlements earlier this year.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said paying workers their full entitlements at the conclusion of their employment was very important.

"Termination entitlements play a vital supporting role for workers while they attempt to pick themselves up, find a new job and get back on their feet," Ms James said.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $13,800 for a St Marys tradesman not paid his annual leave and long service leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year;
  • $10,000 for two workers at a Campbelltown professional services business not paid final wages, annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice upon termination of employment earlier this year;
  • $9,900 for a Silverwater factory hand underpaid wages in lieu of notice and redundancy entitlements earlier this year;
  • $6,400 for a Newington labourer not paid all outstanding wages, annual leave and redundancy entitlements earlier this year;
  • $6,000 for a Camden manager not paid for all hours worked and underpaid her annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year;
  • $5,800 for 13 factory workers at a Silverwater business underpaid overtime rates last year and earlier this year, and;
  • $5,600 for a Clyde tradesman not paid his annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year.

Ms James said after Fair Work Inspectors contacted the employers and explained their obligations under workplace laws, they reimbursed employees all money owed, without the need for further action.

"It was pleasing to see that all the employers were willing to correct their mistakes and put processes in place to ensure they comply with workplace laws in the future," she said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman's website - www.fairwork.gov.au - contains a range of resources to help employers, including a 'Termination' section which includes information on notice periods, redundancy, annual leave and other entitlements payable in a worker's final pay.

Employers and employees seeking assistance should visit the website or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

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

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