Young Sydney workers back-paid $35,000

10 February 2016 

A business on Sydney’s north shore has back-paid three young employees almost $35,000 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman. 

The Pymble employer first hired the three female workers when they were 16. 

For six years, the young workers were paid flat hourly rates below the minimum hourly wage rates they should have received. 

They were underpaid $15,855, $13,590 and $5516 respectively. 

The business told Fair Work inspectors it was not aware of the extent of its obligations under federal workplace laws. 

However, Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the employer co-operated with inspectors and reimbursed all money owed. 

“Businesses need to ensure they understand the wage rates applicable to their business, including penalty rates for overtime, weekend and evening shifts,” Ms James says.

“We know workplace laws can be complicated for the uninitiated, but we ask businesses to use the tools and resources that we provide for them.

“We are committed to helping employers understand and comply with workplace laws, but operators need to make an effort to get the basics right in the first place.”

She encouraged employers who had any uncertainty about their workplace practices to visit the website at www.fairwork.gov.au or phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50 and information on the website is translated into 27 languages.

Small business can opt to be put through to a small business helpline, which has now assisted more than 290,000 callers since it was established.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recently introduced a Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT), which provides advice about pay, shift, leave and redundancy entitlements. Free templates for pay slips and time-and-wage-records are also available on the website.

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

Media inquiries:

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

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