Port Macquarie workers back-paid $24,000

11 February 2016

Several workers around Port Macquarie have been reimbursed almost $24,000 after the Fair Work Ombudsman found they had been underpaid.

The largest recovery was almost $10,000 for six workers at Wauchope.

The workers were underpaid their minimum hourly rate, industry-based allowances and other entitlements.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments during a random audit.

The business operator set pay rates to compete with other businesses in the area, rather than checking the minimum legal entitlements.

In another matter, seven employees at another local company were back-paid $6300 after being underpaid minimum hourly rates and overtime rates.

And three workers at a fast food outlet were back-paid $7500 after being underpaid their minimum hourly rates, weekend penalty rates and casual loadings.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the cases highlight the importance of Port Macquarie employers understanding the minimum lawful pay rates applicable to their workplace.

"It was pleasing that these employers all agreed to rectify the underpayments after being contacted by Fair Work inspectors," Ms James said.

"When we find errors our preference is to educate employers about their obligations and assist them to put processes in place to ensure the mistakes are not repeated."

Employers who have any uncertainty about whether their workplace practices are appropriate can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for advice.

An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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

Tools and resources available on the website 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.

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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