Gold Coast Hinterland Farm Back-pays Two Workers $22,000

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21st December 2009, 09:15am - Views: 556





People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image


Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 



Media Release




         21 Dec 2009


Gold Coast hinterland farm back-pays two

workers $22,000


Two workers at a farm in the Gold Coast hinterland have been reimbursed more

than $22,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they

were underpaid.


The farm hands lodged complaints after they became aware they were being

underpaid the minimum hourly rate, public holiday rates and overtime rates.


After Fair Work inspectors contacted their employer, the workers were promptly

reimbursed $13,180 and $9100 respectively.


Investigations into the company are ongoing.


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

in the greater Gold Coast region.


Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits

and investigations into complaints from workers.


They include:



$17,200 for a Gold Coast real estate agent who was underpaid the minimum

hourly rate and annual leave entitlements,



$9500 for a farm hand near Mt Tamborine underpaid the minimum hourly

rate and penalty rates for overtime and public holiday work,



$8150 for the manager of a Gold Coast building company underpaid wages,



$7460 for a young receptionist at a Gold Coast company underpaid the

minimum hourly rate,



$5750 for a Gold Coast restaurant worker on a 457 visa underpaid penalty

rates and annual leave entitlements, 



$5070 for a sales assistant at a Gold Coast retailer underpaid accrued annual

leave entitlements on termination, and



$2700 for three young workers at a Gold Coast child care centre underpaid

for time worked, annual leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice.


Fair Work Ombudsman Queensland Director Julie Wade says most of the

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

obligations.


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People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image






Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 



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“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.


“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

litigation.”


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

rates and conditions should visit www.fairwork.gov.au 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.

craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au


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

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







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