Dodgy wages: are you working for free one week a year?


dodgy wages wage theft

Miles Heffernan from IR Claims says wage theft is a real concern for Australian workers. Miles has put together a checklist so workers can keep track of their entitlements. “Dodgy wages are rife and employees need to know what to look for on their payslips.”

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a never-ending parade of businesses utilising dodgy wage practices to cheat their employees.

“People notice the big headline-making cases like the 7-Eleven wage theft scandal. But businesses big and small attempt to increase their profits at the expense of paying their employees properly.

“Not all are intentional. Some come down to sloppy bookkeeping. Sometimes the boss simply does not stay up to date with pay rates or increases to awards.

“The Fair Work Commission recently announced a 2.5% increase to the minimum wage. Since 1 July, the new weekly national minimum wage is $772.60, or $20.33 an hour. However, the commission delayed the increase for workers in some badly COVID affected industries. So, retail workers will not receive the increase until 1 September while tourism, fitness and aviation employees will wait until 1 November.

Are you doing a week a year of unpaid work?

Miles Heffernan said small regular underpayments can quickly add up to a substantial amount.

“If your boss fails to pay you for an hour each week, you end up doing nearly a week’s free work for him or her every year.

“Check your award entitlements against your payslip to ensure your hours and rates are correct.

“If you work irregular hours or overtime, keep a diary of the hours you work and check that against your payslip. If you need to take action to reclaim wages from your employer, you need evidence of the time you actually worked and the diary will help.

“Keep track of both sick leave and annual leave and check your superannuation account to ensure the payments noted on your payslip are banked.

“Also check that the amount deposited to your bank account matches your payslip.

Mr Heffernan said the worst industries for dodgy wage practices were retail, hospitality and labour-hire.

“But it can happen in any business so take a few minutes each payday to check you are being paid correctly.”

“If you are not, give us a ring at IR Claims.”

“Whether your employer underpays you deliberately, or by mistake, you are rightly and lawfully entitled to your proper wages.

Our Australian employment law experts at Industrial Relations Claims have extensive experience recovering unpaid wages and entitlements for our clients.

“We will negotiate with your employer to recover your unpaid wages.

“Or, if necessary, we will escalate the matter to the Federal Court or Federal Circuit Court.”

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