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Tag Archives: Underpayment

Fair Work Ombudsman’s compliance notice challenged

The FWO has had its first compliance notice judicially challenged, in a recent case in the Federal Circuit Court. The FWO’s compliance notice required a religious body to back pay an employee nearly $78,000 after the FWO determined that the employee was a cook as opposed to an assistant priest, and as such covered by…

Vulnerable workers’ Bill introduced into parliament

On 1 March 2017, the Turnbull Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017.  The Bill follows a commitment by the Government prior to the last federal election to ensure vulnerable workers are not exploited in the workplace. If the Bill is passed, then the Fair Work Act 2009 will be amended…

Employment Update – February 2017 – Exploitation of overseas workers: record fine ordered against café and owner

A recent decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia demonstrates the serious implications of underpaying employees, and in particular underpaying ‘vulnerable’ employees. In this case, the Fair Work Ombudsman successfully pursued a regional café and its director for the exploitation of overseas workers, as well as three Australian citizens, handing down the highest penalty…

Franchisor held partially responsible for underpayment of franchise employees

A frozen yoghurt franchisor (and some of its related entities) have been found liable for one of its franchisee’s underpayment of 4 overseas workers. The Fair Work Ombudsman media release detailed that “The four exploited workers were paid as little as $8 an hour while working at [the employer’s] outlet at the World Square Shopping…

FWO secures $2 million in back-payments from mining employer

On 9 June 2016, the FWO confirmed the securing of an Enforceable Undertaking with a Victorian based mining employer. The Undertaking sets out that since August 2015, the mining services company has been the subject of 11 requests for assistance to the FWO “relating to allegations of underpayment of wages, penalty rates and shift allowances”.…

Recommendations made to 7-Eleven following underpayments

The Fair Work Ombudsman has made a number of statements over the last 6 months relating to the prosecution of 7-Eleven franchisees.  October 2015 Statement In a statement made in October 2015, the Fair Work Ombudsman noted that in the past 6 years, the FWO had recovered more than $600,000 in unpaid entitlements on behalf…

FWO pursues accounting firm for underpayment

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently released a statement confirming that it has commenced legal action against a Victorian accounting firm for its role in underpaying Taiwanese backpackers. The accounting firm provided payroll services to a fast food business and it is alleged that the accounting firm processed wage payments for the Taiwanese workers despite…

Labor Government would crack down on exploitative employers

To commence their 2016 campaign for election, the Federal Labor Government have released a ‘plan’ for a suite of reforms targeting ‘unscrupulous employers’ and in particular the underpayment of workers. This ‘plan’ follows a number of 2015 cases where workers engaged by large organisations were allegedly underpaid their entitlements.  Labor’s plan notes that these cases,…