Are you meeting your wage obligations?
Monday, 10th November 2014, by Loran McDougall
In today's Workplace Bulletin:
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recently cracked down on wage underpayments, with employers in Victoria reimbursing underpaid employees over $70,000 following FWO inquiries.
In these cases, Fair Work inspectors contacted the employers to advise them that they were obligated to reimburse the money they owed. Because all employees were reimbursed, no further action was required. Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said this was “an example of [the FWO’s] fair and flexible response to employers who admit their errors, rectify any back-payments and put processes in place to ensure further compliance”.
That said, it is important to remember that underpaying an employee is a breach of the employment contract – and the consequences of this can include legal action.
Read on for more information about your minimum wage obligations and what could happen if you don’t meet them.
But just quickly...
New bullying laws and increased penalties reflect the government’s commitment to treating the issue of workplace bullying with the seriousness it deserves.
To help clarify your responsibilities when it comes to bullying, Portner Press has developed a brand-new 50-page eBook, The Bullying Guide – How to identify, prevent and deal with bullying in your workplace.
You can find out more about it here.
Until next time,
Your wage obligations and the
of underpaying employees
by Charles Power
Editor-in-Chief, Employment Law Practical Handbook
Agreed wage and minimum wage
An agreed wage is a rate stipulated in the employment contract. An agreed wage that is less than the minimum wage is a breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).
The statutory minimum wage applies to national system employers and employees, and is the minimum amount specified in either the FW Act or an industrial instrument operating under the FW Act, such as:
If a national system employee is not covered by either of these instruments, they are subject to either:
The consequences of underpaying employees
If you pay an employee less than the agreed wage, you will breach the employment contract. The employee may then bring legal action against you, to have you pay:
Employment Law Practical Handbook
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