19 July 2012FWBC recovers almost $50k for Ballarat painters

Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) has recovered $49,090 in wages and superannuation for nine painters after an audit of their Ballarat employer found they had been underpaid over a three year period.

FWBC Chief Executive Leigh Johns said the nine painters were collectively owed $30,817 in wages and $18,273 in superannuation, which their employer voluntarily back-paid last month.

"The underpayment occurred because the employer thought his Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) had lapsed, and was paying the painters according to the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 instead,” Mr Johns said.

"The employer owed the painters extra because the pay and superannuation rates contained in the EBA are greater than the Award.

"The employer incorrectly assumed that the EBA no longer applied after its nominal expiry date. An EBA will continue to apply past its nominal expiry date until a new agreement is made.”

"Mr Johns said FWBC has the power to investigate the underpayment of wages and uses this power to ensure workers are paid the correct amounts.

"Employers should take the time to make sure they are paying their workers the right rates,” Mr Johns said.

"No employer wants to be in the position that this Ballarat company has found itself – having to back-pay almost $50,000.

"I also encourage any worker in Ballarat’s building and construction industry who is unsure if they are being paid correctly to contact FWBC for assistance.”

"FWBC can help those working in the building and construction industry to find out their correct entitlements. Contact FWBC on 1800 003 338 or go to http://www.fwbc.gov.au/.

NOTE: Due to privacy considerations FWBC is unable to identify the employee or business involved in this matter.