Employment Practices Liability – recent decisions

A number of workers across Brisbane have been back-paid a total of $252,000 following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The largest recovery was $16,700 for two Rocklea administration officers underpaid the minimum hourly rate and other entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says after Fair Work inspectors contacted the business and explained its obligations, the employees were promptly paid all money owed without the need for further action.

In a separate case, a Chermside chef was also reimbursed $16,700 after inspectors discovered the employee had been underpaid the minimum hourly rate and not paid annual leave and personal leave entitlements.

Other recent recoveries include:

Mr Campbell says each of the businesses has now put processes in place to ensure the mistakes are not repeated.

“We acknowledge that accidental breaches of workplace laws do occur, so our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” he said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and user-friendly resources on its website at www.fairwork.gov.au to assist employees and employers.

Small to medium-sized businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation available Online.

An ‘Industries’ section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

A series of Best Practice Guides have also 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 guides 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, parental leave and improving workplace productivity in bargaining.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays.