Cooks At Warrnambool Cafe Back-paid $10,000

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30th November 2009, 11:00am - Views: 830

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

        30 Nov 2009

Cooks at Warrnambool café back-paid $10,000

Two cooks at a Warrnambool café have been reimbursed more than $10,000 after

an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid. 

The two employees had been inadvertently underpaid the minimum hourly rate

and weekend penalty rates.

Fair Work inspectors have assisted the employer to understand its obligations

under workplace laws and the cooks have received their money.

The recoveries are among those finalised recently on behalf of workers in and

around Warrnambool.

Inspectors unearthed the underpayments through a combination of routine audits

and investigations of complaints from workers.

Significant underpayments were discovered in the hospitality and transport


They include:

$10,080 for a design industry worker who had been underpaid accrued annual

leave entitlements and had not been paid for some hours worked on


More than $10,000 for a receptionist underpaid overtime rates, and

$6250 for a truck driver underpaid annual leave, overtime and allowances.

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.

“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


… 2

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


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

wage rates and conditions should visit 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.

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