Underpayments are a common issue in the Australian workplace, with employees often being paid less than the minimum wage or not receiving their correct entitlements such as overtime, annual leave, and sick leave. This can result in significant financial losses for workers, who are entitled to receive their fair pay for the work they do.
Under Australian law, there are various pieces of legislation that govern the minimum standards of pay and entitlements that an employer must provide to their employees. The Fair Work Act 2009 sets out the minimum wage that an employer must pay to employees, and outlines the entitlements that workers are entitled to receive, including overtime, annual leave, and sick leave.
If an employee believes that they have been underpaid, they can take legal action against their employer. The first step in this process is to engage a lawyer to make a complaint to the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Fair Work Ombudsman will investigate the matter and, if appropriate, take enforcement action against the employer. The Fair Work Ombudsman has the power to order an employer to back-pay an employee the amount that they were underpaid and can also impose fines on the employer if they are found to have breached their obligations under the Fair Work Act.
If the Fair Work Ombudsman is unable to resolve the matter, the employee’s lawyer can take the case to the Fair Work Commission, where they can make a claim for underpayment. The Fair Work Commission has the power to make a binding decision on the matter, which can include ordering an employer to back-pay an employee the amount that they were underpaid, and imposing penalties on the employer for their breach of the law.
It is important for employees who believe that they have been underpaid to seek legal representation early, as the process of making a claim for underpayment can be complex and time-consuming. A lawyer will be able to advise an employee on their rights and obligations and help them to prepare a strong case to present to the Fair Work Commission.
In addition, an experienced lawyer will be able to negotiate with an employer on behalf of an employee to try and reach a settlement, which can be a quicker and more cost-effective way to resolve the matter. If a settlement is not reached, the lawyer will be able to represent the employee at the Fair Work Commission and provide them with the best possible chance of winning their case.
There are many benefits to seeking legal representation if you have been underpaid. An experienced lawyer will be able to advise you on the law and the options available to you and help you to make informed decisions about the best way to proceed. They will also be able to provide you with expert representation at the Fair Work Commission and ensure that your case is presented in the strongest possible way.
In conclusion, underpayments are a serious issue in the Australian workplace, and it is important for employees who have been underpaid to seek legal representation. With the help of an experienced lawyer, employees will be able to ensure that their rights are protected, and that they receive the fair pay that they are entitled to receive.