Ombudsman gets backpay for workers

A NUMBER of workers in the region have been reimbursed a total of $33,000 after a recent investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

A Coffs Harbour retail manager has been back-paid $7000 after he was underpaid penalty rates, leave loading and not paid for all hours worked.

A Grafton transport worker meanwhile, who worked for the same company for three years, was handed back $7500 after investigations found he was underpaid hourly and penalty rates.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer and explained its obligations, the company agreed to back-pay the worker in full.

Other recent recoveries include: $6900 for a Casino clerk underpaid the minimum hourly rate and $6400 for a Murwillumbah truck driver underpaid the minimum hourly rate and who had unauthorised deductions from wages.

Also, $5200 for a worker at Tenterfield underpaid the minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and annual leave entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman executive director Michael Campbell says given the employers co-operated with inspectors and agreed to voluntarily rectify the underpayments, there will be no further action against the companies involved.

“We have a flexible, fair approach and our preference is always to work with employers to help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” Mr Campbell said.

He says the agency placed a strong focus on educating and helping employers to understand and comply with workplace laws.

“We are serious about our job of ensuring regional communities understand their rights and obli- gations in the workplace,” he said.

For more details go to www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the infoline on 13 13 94.



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