Newcastle worker back-paid $15,000

3 February 2016 

A worker at a fast food outlet in Newcastle, in the Hunter Valley, has been back-paid $15,000 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The employee, in her 20s, worked at the business for 12 years before her employment ended last year.

However, when she failed to receive outstanding entitlements, including accrued annual leave and long service leave, the employee sought assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the employer co-operated with the Agency and promptly rectified 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 on termination 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 find a new job and get back on their feet.

“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.”

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.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has also recently recovered back-pay for underpaid workers at two businesses in the Port Stephens area:

  • 13 workers at one business were back-paid a total of $9600 after being paid flat rates that were not sufficient to cover their overtime, weekend and public holiday rates, and
  • 23 workers at another business were back-paid $7800 after being underpaid minimum shift pay, as well as Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.

Tools and resources available at www.fairwork.gov.au include templates for time-and-wages records, an online learning centre and a Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) that provides advice about pay, shift, leave and redundancy entitlements.

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

Small business can opt to be put through to a Small Business Helpline for priority service.

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

Media inquiries:

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

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