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Security workers short-changed $156k (Read 3650 times)
16. Oct 2009 at 11:19

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Some Kalgoorlie-based security companies have been underpaying their staff by tens of thousands of dollars.

Random audits by the Federal Workplace Ombudsman have identified substantial underpayments over the past 12 months.

Two employees are owed more than $36,000 each in back-pay.

Investigations by Workplace Ombudsman inspectors in Kalgoorlie have identified 21 local workers who have been underpaid more than $156,000.

Workplace Ombudsman Western Australian Director Leigh Quealy says his office is working with the companies to ensure all employees are reimbursed.

Mr Quealy said the decision by his Kalgoorlie inspectors to check the books of local security firms had unearthed a serious problem.

“The employers in question have been paying their staff flat rates of pay with no penalty rates, regardless of the hours or shifts worked,” he said.

Mr Quealy said the Workplace Ombudsman earmarked the industry for scrutiny after complaints from five workers, who collectively were found to have been short-changed almost $32,000.

Subsequent audits and calculations by inspectors identified another 15 employees who are owed an estimated $124,000 between them.

Mr Quealy says inquiries into several companies are continuing and has not ruled out the possibility of finding more underpaid workers.

The $156,000 recovery comes on top of $600,000 recouped for about 350 workers by the Kalgoorlie office throughout 2008.

Meanwhile, inspectors have just completed random audits of 104 various businesses in Kalgoorlie, Hopetoun, Esperance and Ravensthorpe.

Mr Quealy said they came under scrutiny to ensure they were complying with requirements to provide four weeks paid annual leave, 10 days paid personal leave, public holiday entitlements and record-keeping and payslip obligations.


Ah! Working in Security where finding the real thief could be your employer. Now is the time to check your super account.
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