AN Adelaide worker who was underpaid for almost seven years will receive $22,000 in back pay, following an intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The receptionist and shop assistant was paid $15 an hour at a retailer on the Fleurieu Peninsula - the same rate as when she started as an 18-year-old in 2008.
The employee contacted Fair Work after training a new team member who told her she was being paid $23.50 an hour. Under the General Retail Award, she should have been paid $23.15 an hour on weekdays and $25.01 on Saturdays.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the case demonstrates how important it is to periodically review pay rates.
Rates generally increase on July 1 each year following the Fair Work Commission's Annual Wage Review decision.
"Underpayment of hourly rates can result in employees being significantly underpaid if left unchecked for an extended period, which can leave businesses facing big back payments they weren't budgeting for," James says.
"Employers need to be aware that the Annual Wage Review decision increases not onlythe national minimum wage, but also base rates of pay in modern awards and enterprise agreements."
The business has agreed to back pay the former employee in instalments.
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