Endorsed Federal Labor candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has welcomed the recovery of $15,000 in back-pay for a local apprentice through intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
“A 22-year-old apprentice mechanic was underpaid his minimum rates, annual leave and holiday loading over four years,” Ms Chesters said.
“One hundred and sixty-five workers in the Bendigo region have now been back-paid $527,132 by 130 employers over the past three years following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.”
Ms Chesters said that although many of these cases were genuine errors by employers, it is not fair that lower paid workers should suffer financially.
“The Fair Work Act is designed to bring greater balance and fairness to employment relations and it strikes the right balance between employers and employees.”
“Even a small underpayment can build up over time, so it’s important employers check and double-check that they’re paying their staff the correct wages and entitlements.”
“Ensuring employers pay their employees correctly also means that businesses cannot unfairly undercut their competition by illegally underpaying their workers.”
Last year, the Fair Work Ombudsman finalised 28,412 complaints and recovered $39.8 million for almost 18,500 underpaid workers, including $7.7 million in back-pay for 3,877 workers in Victoria.