Earlier this year Fair Work inspectors were out and about in the Southern Perth suburbs and the South West auditing businesses for compliance to workplace laws.
Shockingly the campaign resulted in $388,261 back paid to employees and 39% of businesses found not to be complying with workplace laws, 26% of these businesses were underpaying employees and 19% were not complying with payslip & record keeping obligations.
Fair Work will audit more than 1000 businesses Australia wide this year, focusing on anonymous tips and industries & sectors with high rates of non compliance.
Other recent cases bought before the commission include;
A casual worker employed at a restaurant in Camperdown was back-paid $12,500 after Fair Work inspectors found that they had been underpaid weekend penalty rates for a period of almost three years.
The worker was not paid the correct weekend rate as required under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010, being paid only $19.56 per hour for Sunday work when entitled to rates of up to $34.23 per hour.
In another matter, the Fair Work Ombudsman received a request for assistance from a registered nurse who was being underpaid at a medical centre in Putney.
Fair Work inspectors found that the nurse, employed on a casual basis, had been paid under the wrong classification, and was also paid below the hourly rate of pay stipulated under the Nurses Award 2010.
The underpayments occurred over a period of more than two years, equating to a total underpayment of $15,605.
Fair Work inspectors found that the employer was unaware of the worker’s correct classification and that they were not familiar with the Award.
A business operator who told his employee to “seriously, f**k off…” when the worker asked when he would receive money owed to him, has been penalised $21,500.
Judge Grant Riethmuller also penalised Mr Pulis’ company, Pulis Plumbing Pty Ltd, a further $100,000 after a plumber’s labourer, who was 20 years old at the time, was underpaid by $26,882 over just three months.
The worker was underpaid when he was employed by Pulis Plumbing to perform work in the Melbourne, Geelong and Bendigo areas between September and December, 2014.
Mr Pulis and his company told the employee he was being hired as a second-year apprentice, but never formally signed the employee up as an apprentice.
Mr Pulis and his company also paid the employee an apprentice rate of $12.18 an hour, despite knowing they were lawfully obligated to pay the employee much higher rates because they had not signed him up to an apprenticeship.
A Perth security company has been penalised in Court for underpaying its guards more than $200,000, with a Judge saying the company’s claim that it thought overpaying in relation to minimum rates would “counteract” other rates of pay was a “lame excuse”.
A penalty of $81,270 has been imposed against Rockingham-based Sureguard Security Pty Ltd in the Federal Court, as a result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
In addition to the penalty, the company has back-paid 22 security guards a total of $205,408 it underpaid them between December, 2014 and January, 2016.
Underpayments of individual workers ranged from $227 to $20,174.
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