$17,000 Back-pay For Central Queensland Worker

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15th December 2009, 11:00am - Views: 583

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

        15 Dec 2009

Central Queensland employer back-pays worker

$17,000 after Fair Work investigation

A Central Queensland worker has been reimbursed $17,000 after an investigation

by the Fair Work Ombudsman found she was underpaid.

The health industry worker, located in a regional area west of Rockhampton,

lodged a complaint after she left her job but was not paid for accrued time-off.

The employer had also not paid her for some hours worked.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted her employer, the woman was promptly

reimbursed without the need for further action against the employer.

The recovery is one of a number of cases finalised recently on behalf of workers

in Central Queensland.

Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits

and investigations into complaints from workers.

They include:

$3800 for a retail worker near Gladstone underpaid annual leave

entitlements and weekend, public holiday and overtime penalty rates,

$3700 for a Bundaberg apprentice mechanic underpaid the minimum hourly


$1700 for a Rockhampton trainee in the automotive industry underpaid the

minimum hourly rate,

$1532 for a Bundaberg truck driver underpaid penalty rates for early

morning work, and

$683 for a Rockhampton apprentice in the hospitality industry underpaid the

minimum hourly rate and annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Queensland Director Julie Wade says most of the

underpayments resulted from of a lack of understanding by employers of their

legal obligations, including applicable Awards and pay-scales.

“That’s why the Fair Work Ombudsman places such a strong focus on educating

employers and assisting them to understand and comply with workplace laws,”

she said.

Ms Wade says in most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute

employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

… 2

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


“However, employers need to be aware that they can face fines of up $33,000 per

breach if we do take matters to court,” she said.

“Most of the $70 million we have recovered for 54,000 workers throughout

Australia over the past two years has been recouped without resorting to


Ms Wade says employers or employees seeking up-to-date information on wage

rates and conditions should visit or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

Translations are available by calling 13 14 50.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website also includes information and templates to

help employers better manage employment records and payslips,” she said.

“Employers need to be aware that under Commonwealth workplace laws they

must keep accurate time, wages, annual leave and other employment records

and issue sufficiently detailed payslips.”

Eleven Best Practice Guides have been developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman

to assist employers make better use of the provisions of the Fair Work Act and

better understand other aspects of workplace laws.

The new guides are on the website and cover work and family, consultation and

co-operation, individual flexibility arrangements, employing young workers,

gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing

underperformance, effective dispute resolution and improving workplace

productivity in bargaining. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative

workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national

workplace laws.

NOTE: We are unable to identify individual businesses or provide additional

information about the cases listed.

Media inquiries: 

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations. 0419 818 484.


Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser Media & Stakeholder Relations. (03) 9954

2561, 0434 365 924. ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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