Ombudsman recoups $174k for Brisbane workers

April 4, 2011

The Fair Work Ombudsman is urging employers to review their Awards and agreements after recovering $174,330 back-pay for a number of Brisbane workers.

Among the recoveries was $27,000 for two Eight Mile Plains IT workers, who lodged complaints with the Ombudsman after they were not paid wages in lieu of notice.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained its obligations, the employees were reimbursed $15,900 and $11,100 respectively.

In a separate case at Clayfield, 37 cleaning industry workers were reimbursed $23,100 after being underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates.

Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits and investigations into complaints from workers.

Common non-compliance issues encountered by inspectors in Brisbane include underpayment of workers’ minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, workers not paid for all hours worked and failure to pay full entitlements to workers upon termination of their employment.

Other recent recoveries include: $17,900 for a Taringa executive underpaid redundancy entitlements; $17,300 for an Albion manager not paid for all hours worked; $16,000 for a Moorooka mechanic not paid accrued annual leave; and $14,500 for a McDowall designer not paid accrued annual leave entitlements or wages in lieu of notice.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says there will be no further action against any of the companies because all the employers co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily rectified their matters.

“We place a strong focus on educating and assisting employers to understand and comply with workplace laws,” Campbell says.

“Our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues,” he says.
Source: QBR

Campbell says that employers need to regularly review their Award or agreement to ensure they are fully aware of their obligations to their workers.