Ombudsman active in Brisbane and La Trobe Valley

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Ombudsman active in Brisbane and La Trobe Valley

Almost $175,000 recovered for underpaid Brisbane workers; $58,300 in fines imposed after duress applied to Latrobe Valley workers.

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Almost $175,000 recovered for underpaid Brisbane workers; $58,300 in fines imposed after duress applied to Latrobe Valley workers.
 
Almost $175,000 recovered for underpaid Brisbane workers
 
The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently recovered $174,300 back-pay for a number of workers in suburban Brisbane.
 
The biggest recovery was $27,000 for two Eight Mile Plains IT workers.
 
The pair, who worked for the same company, lodged complaints with the Fair Work Ombudsman after they were not paid wages in lieu of notice.
 
After Fair Work inspectors contacted the company and explained its obligations, the employees were reimbursed $15,900 and $11,100 respectively.
 
In a separate case at Clayfield, 37 cleaning industry workers were reimbursed $23,100 after being underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates.
 
Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits and investigations into complaints from workers.
 
Common non-compliance issues encountered by inspectors in Brisbane include underpayment of workers’ minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, workers not paid for all hours worked and failure to pay full entitlements to workers upon termination of their employment.
 
Other recoveries
 
Other recent recoveries include:
  • $17,900 for a Taringa executive underpaid redundancy entitlements
  • $17,300 for an Albion manager not paid for all hours worked
  • $16,000 for a Moorooka mechanic not paid accrued annual leave
  • $14,500 for a McDowall designer not paid accrued annual leave entitlements or wages in lieu of notice
  • $13,100 for a Brisbane engineer not paid redundancy entitlements
  • $9500 for a Newmarket cleaner underpaid the minimum hourly rate for almost four years
  • $8300 for a Jindalee apprentice underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates
  • $7400 for a Wacol apprentice underpaid annual leave entitlements
  • $7200 for a Virginia sales assistant not paid for all hours worked
  • $7000 for a Greenslopes personal assistant not paid wages
  • $6000 for a Woolloongabba business manager not paid penalty rates and who had unauthorised deductions from his pay.
 
$58,300 in fines imposed after duress applied to Latrobe Valley workers
 
Fines totalling $58,300 have been imposed in a case in which unlawful duress was applied to more 30 Latrobe Valley workers at a mechanical engineering business.
 
Yallourn-based companies Mechanical Engineering Corporation Pty Ltd and Mechanical Engineering Services Pty Ltd have been fined $20,000 and $30,000 respectively.
 
Anthony Gordon Eliott, the owner and sole director of both companies, has been fined a further $5000; and Glenn Anthony Crisp, the former administrator of Mechanical Engineering Corporation Pty Ltd, has been fined a further $3300.
 
The fines, imposed in the Federal Court in Melbourne, are the result of a successful prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
 
Justice Anthony North imposed the fines after Mechanical Engineering Corporation, Mechanical Engineering Services, Eliott and Crisp admitted they were involved in applying unlawful duress to a group of 37 workers in an attempt to get them to sign workplace agreements.
 
Mechanical Engineering Services and Eliott also admitted breaching the workers’ freedom of association rights by dismissing the workers because they were trying to negotiate better industrial conditions.
 
The breaches occurred in 2006–07 during a period when the workers were in an industrial dispute with Mechanical Engineering Services.
 
The workers were employed by Mechanical Engineering Services to work for Mechanical Engineering Corporation.
 
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