$7000 Back-pay For Macedon Ranges Farm Worker

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5th November 2009, 11:00am - Views: 939

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

          5 Nov 2009

Workplace watchdog recovers $7000 back-pay

for Macedon Ranges farm worker 

A Macedon Ranges farm worker has been reimbursed $7100 after an investigation

by the Fair Work Ombudsman found he was underpaid.

The farm worker, from near Sunbury, lodged a complaint when he was made

redundant but was not paid his full severance pay.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer, the money owed was

voluntarily back-paid without the need for further action.

The case is one of a number finalised recently on behalf of workers in the

Macedon Ranges.

Inspectors unearthed the underpayments through a combination of routine audits

and investigations into complaints from workers.

Significant underpayments were discovered in the security, hospitality and

construction industries.

They include:

$9200 for a security industry worker near Sunbury underpaid weekend

penalty rates and annual leave entitlements,

$9000 for a Gisborne hospitality industry worker who had not been paid for

some hours worked each week, and

$5560 for a supervisor at a Gisborne business underpaid accrued annual

leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says most of the

underpayments were the result of a lack of understanding by employers of their

legal obligations, including applicable Awards and pay-scales.

“That’s why the Fair Work Ombudsman places such a strong focus on educating

employers and assisting them to understand and comply with workplace laws,” he


Mr Campbell says in most cases, the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute

employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws.

“However, employers need to be aware that they can face fines of up $33,000 per

breach if we do take matters to court,” he said.

… 2

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


“Most of the $70 million we have recovered for 54,000 workers throughout

Australia over the past two years has been recouped without resorting to


Mr Campbell says employers or employees seeking up-to-date information on

wage rates and conditions should visit www.fwo.gov.au or contact the Fair Work

Infoline on 13 13 94. Translations are available by calling 13 14 50.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website also includes information and templates to

help employers better manage employment records and payslips,” he said.

“Employers need to be aware that under Commonwealth workplace laws they

must keep accurate time, wages, annual leave and other employment records

and issue sufficiently detailed payslips.”

Eleven Best Practice Guides have 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 new guides are on the website and 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 and improving workplace

productivity in bargaining. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative

workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national

workplace laws.

NOTE: We are unable to identify individual businesses or provide additional

information about the cases listed.

Media inquiries: 

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations. 0419 818 484.


Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser Media & Stakeholder Relations. (03) 9954

2561, 0434 365 924. ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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