Topics:  fair work ombudsman

$27,000 in back-pay for workers

TWO station hands in Queensland's Darling Downs region have been back-paid a total of $27,600 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The male employees, who worked for the same business, were underpaid the minimum hourly rate, overtime and penalty rates between August, 2009 and April, 2011.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments after the employees lodged complaints with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The station hands - both aged in their 50s - had been underpaid $17,700 and $9900 respectively. They no longer work for the business.

The Daily News requested more specific details about the location of the property in question but a Fair Work spokesman declined to release any further information, citing privacy restrictions.

After an inspector contacted the business and explained its obligations, both employees were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $6.082 million back-pay for 5142 underpaid workers in Queensland last financial year. Nationally, the Agency recouped $26.7 million for 17,360 employees.

"It's a fact that some businesses inadvertently breach workplace laws. When we find mistakes, we're here to assist and give practical advice to employers on how to voluntarily fix them," says Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson.

"The Darling Downs business has now corrected the errors that led to the underpayments and put processes in place to ensure it will not happen again."

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a single point of contact for people working or running a business in Australia to get accurate and timely information about their workplace rights and obligations.

Workers or employers seeking support should get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website - www.fairwork.gov.au - or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

The website has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to assist business-owners calculate the correct pay for their employees.

PayCheck Plus calculates minimum rates of pay per hour, per shift or per week and takes account of payments for overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au



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