Sydney Cbd And Eastern Suburbs Workers Back-paid

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27th October 2009, 11:00am - Views: 1045

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 2 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

         27 Oct 2009

Sydney CBD and Eastern suburbs workers

back-paid $370,000 after watchdog intervenes

Dozens of underpaid workers in the Sydney CBD and eastern suburbs have been

reimbursed more than $370,000 following investigations by the Fair Work


NSW Inspectors unearthed the underpayments over the past few months through

a combination of routine audits and investigations into complaints from workers.

Significant underpayments were discovered in the retail, wholesale, arts and hair-

and-beauty industries.

In one case, a manager at a CBD wholesaler has been back-paid more than


The man was made redundant without getting his full annual and long service

leave entitlements, severance pay and pay in lieu of notice.

Fair Work inspectors helped the company to understand its obligations and it

voluntarily complied without the need for further action.

Other recoveries include:

$16,600 for a manager in the CBD underpaid annual leave entitlements and

not paid for some time worked,

$10,600 for a young arts industry worker in Waterloo underpaid the

minimum hourly rate for more than a year,

$10,000 and $2350 for two teenage hair-and-beauty workers in Double Bay

paid apprentice rates but entitled to more because they had not been formally


$9300 for a salesperson at Kings Cross underpaid the minimum hourly rate

for almost three years,

$9000 for a retail store worker at Birkenhead Point underpaid long service

leave entitlements on termination,

$8900 for a clerk at Haberfield not paid accrued annual leave entitlements

on termination,    

$8300 for an account manager at Alexandria not paid some commissions, 

$7000 for a CBD worker underpaid wages as a result of being incorrectly

classified as a contractor,

$6900 for a young clerk in the CBD underpaid the minimum hourly rate,

penalty rates and shift allowances, 

$6500 for an arts industry worker in Waterloo underpaid termination

payments including wages and annual leave entitlements,

$6300 for a blue collar worker in Rose Bay underpaid the minimum hourly


… 2

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


$5800 for a shop assistant at The Rocks underpaid the minimum hourly rate

and annual leave entitlements,

$5800 for 12 young shop assistants at a CBD retailer underpaid the minimum

hourly rate and penalty rates for weekend work, and

$5400 for a cook at a Darling Harbour restaurant underpaid the minimum

hourly rate.

Fair Work Ombudsman NSW Director Mark Davidson says most of the

underpayments resulted from 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 Davidson 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.

Mr Davidson 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: Craig Bildstien, 0419 818 484. Ryan Pedler, 0434 365 924.

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