Melbourne worker back-paid $117,000

20 November 2013

An underpaid worker in Melbourne's North has been back-paid $117,000 in termination entitlements following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The employee, aged in his 50s, had worked as a machine operator at a Fawkner business for more than 10 years before he was made redundant earlier this year.

When his employer failed to pay-out a range of entitlements he was owed, including accrued annual leave and long service entitlements and redundancy pay, he lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

After Fair Work Inspectors contacted the employer and explained their obligations under workplace laws relating to termination entitlements, the employee was back-paid in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the business narrowly avoided facing further compliance action by co-operating with Inspectors and promptly rectifying the matter.

"It is the responsibility of employers to ensure they pay employees their full termination entitlements when the employment relationship ends," Ms James said.

"Paying workers correctly upon termination of employment is just as important as ensuring they receive their full entitlements throughout their employment.

"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."

Other recent recoveries of termination entitlements in North and North-West Melbourne include:

  • $8,300 for a chef at an Essendon restaurant not paid wages in lieu of notice and his annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year, and
  • $6,500 for a St Albans shop assistant also not paid her annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment earlier this year.

Ms James said that after Fair Work Inspectors contacted the businesses and explained their obligations, the employees were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action.

"Our focus is on educating employers about their obligations and helping them to put processes in place to ensure that any errors we find don't occur again," Ms James said.

The 'Termination' section of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website - www.fairwork.gov.au - outlines the entitlements payable in a worker's final pay and includes information on topics such as annual leave, long service leave and redundancy 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:

Tom McPherson, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0439 835 855
tom.mcpherson@fwo.gov.au

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