MORE than $82,000 in wages and entitlements have been back-payed to workers throughout Brisbane and South-east Queensland following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman during the past six months.
The biggest recovery was $20,000 for a factory hand at Logan City who was underpaid the minimum hourly rate, overtime and weekend penalty rates.
In a separate matter, two waiting staff at a Springfield Lakes restaurant were back-paid a total of $11,000 after being underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.
The employees an adult and an 18-year-old were paid flat hourly rates of just $8 and $10 an hour, well below the minimum wage they were entitled to.
The Malaysian employer spoke limited English and communicated with Fair Work inspectors through his brother.
Because the employer was co-operative and promptly rectified the errors, Fair Work issued him with a Letter of Caution and avoided further enforcement action.
Other recent recoveries in Queensland include:
- $10,900 for a young worker at an Archerfield business underpaid the minimum hourly rate, overtime and public holiday penalty rates after being misclassified as a trainee over a six-month period
- $10,700 for a manager at a security business in Archerfield who was not paid his annual leave entitlements and wages on termination of employment
- $7200 for four shop assistants at an Ipswich take-away business underpaid the minimum hourly rate and weekend penalty rates
- $6100 for a health industry worker at Toowong not paid her annual leave entitlements on termination of employment
- $5900 for a factory hand at Logan City underpaid the minimum hourly rate between 2008 and 2013 and his long service leave entitlements on termination of employment
- $5600 for a truck driver at Burpengary underpaid his annual leave entitlements while on workers compensation in 2012-2013
- $5000 for a trades assistant at Logan City underpaid the minimum hourly rate after being misclassified as an apprentice over a four-month period last year.
The employees were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action.
"These cases are an example of our fair and proportionate response to employers who admit their mistakes, back-pay any underpaid employees and work with our inspectors to put processes in place to ensure future compliance," says Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James (pictured).
The Fair Work Ombudsman encourages local, small businesses to access free tools and resources which are available at www.fairwork.gov.au/smallbusiness.
"Small businesses often dont have the benefit of in-house human resources and payroll staff, so we place a high priority on assisting them.
"Equipping people with the information they need helps to create fair and productive workplaces, as well as ensuring a level playing field for all."
Last financial year the Fair Work Ombudsman finalised 25,650 complaints and recovered more than $23 million for close to 16,000 workers.
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