Norther Rivers workers back-paid

FOUR workers in the Northern Rivers region of NSW have been back-paid a total of $31,900 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $10,000 for a receptionist at Ballina.

The 57-year-old female employee lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman after she was underpaid penalty rates for two-and-a-half years.

After a Fair Work inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, the worker was reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $8700 for a Lismore trade assistant underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $8100 for a mechanic in the Murwillumbah area underpaid long service leave entitlements, and
  • $5100 for a sales representative at Byron Bay not paid commission on sales.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $8.215 million back-pay for 4182 underpaid workers in NSW last financial year.

Between July 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012, the Agency recovered a total of $78 million for 47,857 underpaid workers.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Bill Loizides says when Fair Work inspectors identify a problem and contact a business, most employers check their records, realise a problem has occurred, and fix it immediately.

"We're here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily resolve issues," he said.

"The four businesses involved have now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure they will not happen again."

Mr Loizides says the Fair Work Ombudsman's Assisted Voluntary Resolution team is now achieving resolution of about half its referrals within the first month.

Workers or employers seeking support should get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website - www.fairwork.gov.au - or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Free documentation is available Online for employers to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, including letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay slip templates, leave application forms, a self-audit check list and workplace complaint form.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to assist business-owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au  or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au .

Topics:  back-pay, fair work, fair work australia, fair work ombudsman, northern rivers



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