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Employment Practices Liability - recent decisions

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$250,000 back-pay for Brisbane employees

A number of workers across Brisbane have been back-paid a total of $252,000 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $16,700 for two Rocklea administration officers underpaid the minimum hourly rate and other entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says after Fair Work inspectors contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employees were promptly paid all money owed without the need for further action.

In a separate case, a Chermside chef was also reimbursed $16,700 after inspectors discovered the employee had been underpaid the minimum hourly rate and not paid annual leave and personal leave entitlements.

Other recent recoveries include:

  • $16,400 for 12 Coorparoo tradesmen underpaid the minimum hourly rate and overtime entitlements,
  • $15,000 for a CBD housekeeping supervisor not paid penalty rates or overtime entitlements,
  • $14,100 for a Sumner Park workshop manager underpaid redundancy on termination,
  • $13,800 for a Mount Cotton receptionist underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $13,700 for a Tingalpa designer not paid annual leave entitlements,
  • $12,700 for an Acacia Ridge manager not paid redundancy,
  • $12,600 for 15 Archerfield consultants underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $12,000 for a Newstead receptionist underpaid annual leave entitlements,
  • $10,300 for seven Sunnybank chefs not paid for time worked, underpaid the minimum hourly rate and not paid overtime entitlements,
  • $9500 for a Strathpine apprentice underpaid the minimum hourly rate and overtime entitlements and not paid allowances,
  • $9400 for a Chermside administration officer underpaid the minimum hourly rate, overtime entitlements and penalty rates,
  • $8100 for a Wishart apprentice underpaid the minimum hourly rate and allowances,
  • $7700 for a CBD book keeper not paid annual leave entitlements or pay-in-lieu-of-notice,
  • $7600 for a Slacks Creek storeman not paid redundancy and overtime entitlements,
  • $7000 for a CBD training co-ordinator not given pay-in-lieu-of-notice,
  • $6800 for a Brisbane Airport waitress not paid overtime or penalty rates,
  • $6700 for a Brisbane carer underpaid allowances and penalty rates,
  • $6500 for a Sandgate technician not paid annual leave entitlements,
  • $6300 for an Inala shop assistant not paid redundancy entitlements,
  • $6100 for a Cleveland supervisor not paid annual leave entitlements,
  • $6000 for a Darra process team leader underpaid long service leave on termination,
  • $5200 for a Red Hill business director not paid for time worked, annual leave entitlements or pay-in-lieu-of-notice, and
  • $5100 for an Enoggera tradesman not paid annual leave entitlements.

Mr Campbell says each of the businesses has now put processes in place to ensure the mistakes are not repeated.

“We acknowledge that accidental breaches of workplace laws do occur, so our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and user-friendly resources on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au to assist employees and employers.

Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation available Online.

An ‘Industries’ section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

A series of Best Practice Guides have also been developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist employers make better use of the provisions of the Fair Work Act and better understand other aspects of workplace laws.

The guides cover work and family, consultation and co-operation, individual flexibility arrangements, employing young workers, gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance, effective dispute resolution, parental leave and improving workplace productivity in bargaining.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. 

Last changed: Aug 19 2011 at 8:25 PM

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