Driver gets $33k backpay; business warned

Businesses warned to pay staff correctly after truck driver is reimbursed $33,000 after being ripped off by employer

November 6, 2009

Businesses are being warned to pay employees according to Award rates after a truck driver was reimbursed $33,000 after being ripped off by his employer.

The Fair Work Ombudsman launched an investigation into the truck driver’s employer after he complained to the agency about not being paid the correct minimum rate or overtime.

Legal action was not taken against the employer because it co-operated with the agency and voluntarily rectified the underpayments.

"However, employers must be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure they are aware of which Awards apply to their employees and that they pay staff correctly," the Ombudsman’s Queensland Director, Julie Wade, says.

"If we do take matters to court, fines of up to $33,000 per breach of workplace laws can be applied."

A spokesman for the Ombudsman says the employer will not be identified because it is the agency’s policy not to name offenders if legal action is not taken.
Wade says the Ombudsman has a preference to work with employers to educate them and help them resolve non-compliance issues.

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