Kalgoorlie-boulder Business Backpays Worker $10,000

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7th December 2009, 01:15pm - Views: 525

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Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

          7 Dec 2009

Kalgoorlie-Boulder business back-pays worker


A Kalgoorlie-Boulder worker has been reimbursed $10,000 after an investigation

by the Fair Work Ombudsman found he was underpaid.

The employee, a professional, lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman

when he finished working for his employer but was not paid his full accrued

annual leave entitlements, pay in lieu of notice, annual leave on termination and

wages for some time worked.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and educated it about its

obligations, the worker was promptly paid the money he was owed without the

need for further action against the company.

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

in the Goldfields.

Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits

and investigations into complaints from workers.

Common non-compliance issues inspectors have encountered in the Kalgoorlie-

Boulder area include underpayment of workers’ minimum hourly rates and failure

to pay full entitlements to workers upon termination of their employment.

Other recoveries include:

$5280 for a Kalgoorlie driller’s offsider underpaid pay in lieu of notice and

redundancy entitlements,

$6430 for an unskilled Kalgoorlie worker underpaid the minimum hourly rate

and penalty rates,

$6310 and $5610 for two tradesman at a northern Goldfields business

underpaid accrued annual leave entitlements on termination of their

employment positions, and

$6260 for a Kalgoorlie earthmoving equipment operator underpaid accrued

leave entitlements on termination.

Fair Work Ombudsman WA Director Leigh Quealy says most of the

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

legal obligations, including applicable Awards and pay-scales and annual leave

entitlements under the legislation.

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People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


Mr Quealy announced that his Kalgoorlie office would be asking up to 15 local

businesses to open their books for random audits before Christmas.

The audits will focus on employees’ wages and conditions and check that workers

are being paid their lawful entitlements.

“In cases where records are not up to scratch or indicate workers are being

underpaid, inspectors may launch a wider investigation,” Mr Quealy said.

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,” he 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


Mr Quealy 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,” he 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, 0419 818 484. craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au Ryan Pedler,

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

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