$86,000 back-paid to Sydney CBD workers

17 September 2013

Underpaid workers in Sydney's CBD have been back-paid a total of $86,400 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The biggest recovery was $35,000 for two parking officers at a city car park underpaid overtime rates and shift allowances over a four year period between 2008 and 2012.

The underpayments occurred because the business operator, who spoke limited English, did not understand the minimum entitlements he was required to pay.

A Fair Work Inspector educated the business operator about his obligations and helped him to put processes in place to ensure his business complied in the future.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said a range of tools and resources are available to help workers and employers for whom English is a second language understand Australia's workplace laws.

"Information on our website - www.fairwork.gov.au/languages - is translated into 27 languages and a free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50 for anyone seeking advice," Ms James said.

Other recent recoveries in the Sydney area include:

  • $17,400 for a manager at an IT firm not paid wages for time worked earlier this year;
  • $12,400 for an administration officer at a financial services firm underpaid redundancy entitlements in 2012;
  • $8,000 for a chef at a city restaurant underpaid overtime rates in 2011-2012;
  • $7,900 for a call centre officer underpaid overtime rates between 2009 and 2011, and;
  • $5,700 for a manager at an advertising firm underpaid annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice upon termination of employment in 2012.

Ms James said in all cases the employers cooperated with Fair Work Inspectors and the workers were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action.

"When we identify a problem and contact a business, most employers cross-check their records, realise they have made an error, and fix it immediately," Ms James said.

Employers and employees seeking information and advice should get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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

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