$70,000 back pay for locals

LOCAL employees have been reimbursed more than $70,000 after recent inquiries by the Fair Work Ombudsman revealed they had been underpaid at work.

At Rosedale, four employees of one business were backpaid $14,400 after being underpaid allowances and penalty rates for weekend, overtime and shift work over a 12-month period.

Other recent recoveries include:

$14,300 for 12 workers at a Stratford business underpaid penalty rates for overtime, morning, afternoon and night shifts;

$13,000 for six cleaners at a Sale business underpaid the minimum hourly rate, weekend penalty rates and shift allowances;

$8500 for a forklift driver at a business near Wonthaggi underpaid meal allowance entitlements over six years;

$8000 for seven shop assistants at a Cowes retail premises underpaid the minimum hourly rate over almost 12 months;

$7300 for 10 retail workers at a Leongatha business underpaid casual loadings, weekend, overtime and shift penalty rates over a 12-month period, and

$5100 for two young workers at a Sale food retail business underpaid the minimum hourly rate, weekend and late-night penalty rates.

The employees were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action after Fair Work inspectors contacted the businesses and explained their obligations.

Fair Work ombudsman Natalie James said these cases were examples of its fair and flexible response to employers who admitted their errors, rectified any back-payments and put processes in place to ensure future compliance.

The Fair Work Ombudsman can assist employers with accurate, reliable information and encourages local, small businesses to access its free tools and resources. Employers and employees can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.