Mansfield, Rutherglen workers share back-pay

4 November 2015

Workers at two regional Victorian accommodation businesses have been back-paid more than $15,000 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A business at Mansfield short-changed 21 of its casual employees a total of $9000 as a result of underpaying their minimum hourly rates and penalty rates for night and weekend work.

The employees were paid flat hourly rates that were not sufficient to cover the minimum rates they were entitled to under the Hospitality Industry Award. 

The largest single underpayment was $1340.

The underpayments occurred during last year’s snow season and were discovered by Fair Work inspectors during proactive audit activity focusing on snowfields employers.

In a separate matter, a business at Rutherglen reimbursed 16 cleaners, waiters and kitchen staff a total of $6800 after underpaying their minimum hourly rates and penalty rates for weekend and shift work between July and October last year.

The largest single underpayment was $3672.

The inadvertent underpayments were the result of the employer’s lack of awareness of the lawful minimum pay rates that applied under the Hospitality Industry Award.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments when they proactively audited the business.

Both businesses promptly back-paid employees all money owed after Fair Work inspectors explained their obligations under workplace laws.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says her Agency is working hard to build a culture of compliance with workplace laws in Australia by providing practical advice that is easy to access, understand and apply.

“It is important that there be a fair, competitive environment for employers who are doing the right thing by creating a level playing field in relation to business costs,” Ms James said.

“Anyone operating a business needs to ensure they take the time to understand the workplace laws applicable to their business.”

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit at fairwork.gov.au or phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50. Small businesses calling the Infoline can opt to receive priority service to assist with their inquiries.

Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO external-icon.png, the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au External link icon or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au External link icon.

Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.

Media inquiries:

Lara O'Toole, Media Adviser
Mobile: 0439 835 855
lara.otoole@fwo.gov.au

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