Newcastle Campaign Recoups $65,000 For Underpaid Workers

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14th January 2010, 10:30am - Views: 505

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Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

    14 Jan 2010

Newcastle campaign recoups $65,000 for

underpaid workers

The Fair Work Ombudsman has released the results of a targeted campaign

aimed at ensuring foreign students working part-time in Newcastle are being

properly paid.

Fair Work inspectors randomly audited 18 businesses known to employ

international students, including restaurants, cafes, take-away food outlets and

car wash sites.

The campaign followed allegations received from Newcastle Trades Hall

suggesting many students were being underpaid.

It included an information session at the University of Newcastle for international

students interested in learning more about their workplace rights.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says 11 of the 18

businesses selected for scrutiny were found to have contraventions – including

eight which had been underpaying their staff.

Inspectors recovered $65,000 for 80 employees - an average of $812 each.

However, Mr Campbell said only a small number of foreign students were among

those employees found to have been underpaid.

“Our findings suggest that more work is required in the Hunter Valley to educate

and assist employers to understand their legal obligations to their workforce,” he


“While we found that most employers want to do the right thing, there is still a

lack of understanding by many of their responsibilities – and that’s where we can


Employers seeking assistance understanding the appropriate pay rates they need

to pay staff should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am to 6pm

weekdays or visit

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


Media inquiries: 

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations  0419 818 484 Email:

Ryan Pedler: Mob: 0434 365 924; Email:

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