Katoomba workers underpaid more than $12,000

29 April 2016 

Two workers in Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains in NSW, have shared thousands of dollars back-pay following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A part-time worker at a food outlet has been reimbursed more than $6000 after being short-changed her minimum entitlements between May and November last year.

The employee was paid a flat hourly rate of $14, but should have received a minimum of $18.98 for normal hours, plus penalty rates on weekends.

The business told Fair Work inspectors the worker was paid a "trainee wage".

However, as the employee had not been formally registered as a trainee, she was entitled to higher wages.

In a separate matter, a Katoomba retail store worker has been reimbursed more than $6200 for unpaid long service leave and annual leave entitlements.

Both workers independently approached the Fair Work Ombudsman for assistance after unsuccessful attempts at self-resolving their workplace issues.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says it is important for anyone running a business to understand the workplace laws applicable to their workplace.

"It is the responsibility of employers to be fully aware of the wage rates and entitlements they are obliged to pay their employees," Ms James said.

"While we focus heavily on educating employers about their obligations, it helps if business owners make an effort to get the basics right in the first place, and we can assist with that."

Ms James says that because the two businesses co-operated, agreed to repay all monies owed and ensure ongoing compliance with their obligations, they have avoided enforcement action.

She encouraged employers uncertain about whether their workplace practices were appropriate to visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has user-friendly online resources and tools to assist small businesses in understanding their obligations, such as record keeping and pay-slip templates, leave calculators, hiring processes and videos about how to manage staff performance.

Small businesses can opt to be put through the Small Business Helpline for advice. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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:

Annie Lawson, Media Adviser
Mobile: 0466 522 004
annie.lawson@fwo.gov.au

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

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