The Fair Work Ombudsman has warned employers that they need to know and understand the wage rates applicable to their workplace.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said “It is unacceptable for an employer to take advantage of any worker, especially overseas workers who have a limited understanding of their workplace rights,”
“We have minimum pay rates in Australia, they apply to everyone, and they are not negotiable.
“While many employers want to do the right thing, there are some who seek to gain a competitive advantage by exploiting vulnerable workers, such as visa-holders.”
The warning came after a Real Estate agent in Hawthorne was found to be paying a Chinese temporary graduate visa holder only $9 per hour. The 28-year-old Chinese worker is to be paid $5000 in back pay.
- The Fair Work Ombudsman has found that in Melbourne’s east a number of cases where employees had been underpaid.
- $20,400 for a storeman in Mount Waverley who was paid $19 an hour for three-and-a-half years when he should have received up to $23.08,
- $8900 for a salesman who worked across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and was not paid for weekend work, annual leave and travel time during overseas business trips,
- $8000 for a young male labourer in Bayswater North who should have received a casual hourly rate but was paid part-time wages without the entitlements of a permanent employee,
- $8000 for a full-time young male general labourer whose Donvale employer paid him first-year apprentice rates but had never signed an apprenticeship contract, and
- $7500 for a male welder in Bayswater North who did not receive his annual leave upon resignation.