Cairns tourism operator back-pays manager $24k

By: Jason Whittaker


An unnamed Cairns tourism operator has back-paid one of its staff $24,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman

An unnamed Cairns tourism operator has back-paid one of its staff $24,000 after an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found the worker was underpaid.

The employee lodged a complaint after leaving his job but was not paid his accrued annual leave entitlements.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the employer, the employee was promptly reimbursed without the need for further action against the company.

In a separate case, the general manager of a Cairns industrial business has also been back-paid $9,350 after an investigation by Fair Work inspectors.

The manager had been underpaid his accrued annual leave entitlements when he finished working for his employer. The employer also voluntarily reimbursed the money after being contacted by inspectors.

The recoveries are among several cases resolved recently on behalf of workers in the Cairns area.

Inspectors discovered the underpayments through a combination of routine audits and investigations into complaints from workers.

Fair Work Ombudsman Queensland Director Julie Wade says most of the underpayments resulted from a lack of understanding by employers of their legal obligations, including applicable Awards and pay-scales.

"That’s why the Fair Work Ombudsman places such a strong focus on educating employers and assisting them to understand and comply with workplace laws," Wade says.

While in most cases the Fair Work Ombudsman does not prosecute employers for inadvertent breaches of workplace laws, employers can face fines of up to $33,000 per breach if matters are taken to court.

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