Back-pay for workers in Melbourne’s West

23 September 2015 

A number of workers in Melbourne’s western suburbs have been back-paid almost $55,000 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was for four young casual waitresses at a café in the Watergardens Town Centre shopping complex at Taylors Lakes.

They were underpaid a total of $13,000 between June, 2013 and October, 2014.

After buying the café, the owner continued the previous employer’s practice of paying flat rates, rather than checking the wage rates applicable to the business.

The workers were paid $16 an hour, which was below minimum they should have received under the Restaurant Industry Award.

Meanwhile, two male and two female employees at an eatery in the Highpoint shopping complex at Maribyrnong have also been back-paid a total of $7586.

The part-time and casual employees were underpaid their minimum hourly rates, casual loadings and weekend penalty rates between July, 2013 and May, 2014.

Other recent recoveries in the western suburbs include

  • $7500 for a casual employee at an Altona North retail outlet underpaid minimum shift pay and minimum hourly rates, 
  • $5900 for a 19-year-old employee at a Maribyrnong restaurant unpaid her minimum hourly rates and overtime rates,
  • $13,100 for a manager at a manufacturing business in Laverton North underpaid redundancy entitlements, and
  • $7600 for an employee at an Altona North security company underpaid redundancy and annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says all employees were reimbursed without the need for further enforcement action after inspectors contacted the employers and explained their obligations under workplace laws.

Ms James says the cases are timely reminders for employers of the importance of ensuring they check the minimum lawful pay rates that apply to their workplace.

She says the Fair Work Ombudsman is working hard to build a culture of compliance with workplace laws in Australia by providing practical advice that is easy to access, understand and apply.

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

Small businesses calling the Infoline can opt to receive priority service to assist with their inquiries.

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Lara O'Toole, Media Adviser
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