ABCC recovers more than $1 million in workers’ wages in past 5 months

Australian Building and Construction Commission

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has recovered wages in excess of $1 million for more than 2,300 employees in the past five months. This takes total wage recoveries, since the ABCC was established in December 2016, to more than $4,000,000.

In the last five months recoveries have included:

· $192,000 back paid to 227 employees of a NSW solar contractor after their employer failed to pay entitlements under the modern award

· $44,000 back paid to 119 employees of a Queensland post-tensioning company after their employer failed to pay allowances under their enterprise agreement

· $29,656 recovered for 2 apprentices after their Queensland company failed to pay the correct overtime rates, penalties and allowances under the modern award

· $33,000 paid to 2 air conditioning employees after their company failed to pay accrued annual leave and RDO’s upon termination

· $53,830 back paid to 99 labour hire employees in WA after their employer failed to pay entitlements under the applicable modern awards

The most commonly found breaches were employers using the incorrect award or enterprise agreement, non-payment of allowances, incorrect application of overtime provisions, and non-compliant record keeping practices.

In addition, the ABCC secured $88,949 in underpayments for a NSW worker following legal action against Open Tiling, as well as $83,160 in penalties against the company and its director, Jae Jung Kim.

ABCC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said

“Recovering wages for individual employees as quickly as possible is our primary concern and has immediate benefit for the worker.

“We are committed to discharging our statutory function as regulator of the building and construction industry to protect workers who are underpaid and have payment issues rectified in full and in a timely manner.

“The ABCC is committed to ensuring employees are paid properly. We will pursue all appropriate legal action when employers deliberately fail to pay their workers what they are rightfully owed.”

Employers and employees can visit www.abcc.gov.au/pay or call the ABCC hotline on 1800 003 338 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations.

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