$50,000 back-pay for Tasmanian workers

A number of Tasmanian workers have been back-paid almost $50,000 in wages and entitlements following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The biggest recovery was $15,000 for a manager at a motel near Launceston who was underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates for weekend, night and public holiday work between 2007 and 2010.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $10,000 for a chef at a Sorell café underpaid late-night penalty rates between 2009 and 2013 and not paid his annual leave entitlements upon termination of employment,
  • $9300 for a Hobart electrician not paid his redundancy entitlements and wages in lieu of notice in 2012,
  • $9300 for four apprentices at a Launceston business underpaid the minimum hourly rate, overtime rates and travel allowances over a  12-month period in 2012-2013, and
  • $5300 for a tradesman and an apprentice at a Devonport business underpaid the minimum hourly rate and travel allowances over a 12-month period in 2011-2012.

The employees were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further enforcement action after Fair Work inspectors contacted the businesses and explained their obligations. Inspectors also assisted employers to put processes in place to ensure future compliance.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the Agency can assist employers with accurate, reliable information and encouraged local businesses to access its free tools and resources.

Ms James says the Fair Work Ombudsman Agency is making compliance easier for businesses by continually building on the information available on its website.

“Small businesses often don’t have the benefit of in-house human resources and payroll staff, so we place a high priority on assisting them,” she said.

“Equipping people with the information they need helps to create fair and productive workplaces, as well as ensuring a level playing field for all.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a dedicated webpage for small business owners at www.fairwork.gov.au/smallbusiness.

The webpage contains free template documentation for employers to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, including letters of engagement and probation, leave application forms and a self-audit check list.

“Small business is entitled to credible and reliable information about their obligations in a way that makes sense to them, and via channels that they can access quickly and easily,” Ms James said.

Employers can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is also available on 13 14 50

Media inquiries:

Tom McPherson, Media Adviser
Mobile: 0439 835 855