Downes Rice Hulls to back-pay truck­ies

Farm­ing waste com­pany to pay $94,000 to un­der­paid truck driv­ers

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

A FAIR WORK OM­BUDS­MAN ( FWO)

in­ter­ven­tion has re­sulted in farm­ing waste com­pany Downes Rice Hulls to agree to pay un­der­paid truck driv­ers nearly $ 94,000 within 12 months.

An FWO audit found that the De­niliquin- based com­pany had un­der­paid 16 driv­ers their over­time and week­end penalty rate dues.

The case was brought to the Om­buds­man by a for­mer driver con­tracted by the com­pany at its Lee­ton de­pot.

The FWO in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded that the driver was un­der­paid $ 50,856 be­tween 2011 and 2014, with a wider audit prov­ing that the com­pany had un­der­paid fur­ther 15 full- time or ca­sual work­ers a to­tal of $ 43,138 be­tween a three-month pe­riod from Jan­uary to March 2016.

The com­pany was also found to have failed to pay an­nual leave load­ing and con­tra­vened record-keep­ing laws dur­ing that pe­riod.

“The Fair Work Om­buds­man found that the worker, aged in his 50s, was paid a $ 24 hourly base rate, $ 25 for night- shift work and $ 27 for over­time work,” an FWO state­ment notes.

“How­ever, un­der the Waste Man­age­ment Award 2010 at the time, he was en­ti­tled to over­time rates of be­tween $ 31.91 and $ 42.54, up to $ 42.54 on Sun­days and up to $ 63.81 on Christ­mas Day and Good Fri­day.

“His aft er­noon and night- shift load­ings were also un­der­paid.”

Since the audit, the com­pany has en­tered into an En­force­able Un­der­tak­ing (EU) with the FWO and agreed to make all the back-pay­ments within 12 months, over­haul its work­place prac­tices and en­sure fu­ture com­pli­ance.

As part of the EU, Downes Rice Hulls will also take the fol­low­ing steps:

• Com­mis­sion external au­dits of its com­pli­ance

• Rec­tify any con­tra­ven­tions found

• En­sure all man­age­rial staff com­plete train­ing on their work­place obli­ga­tions • Dis­play pub­lic no­tices in its work­places de­tail­ing the con­tra­ven­tions

• Pro­vide writ­ten apolo­gies to the work­ers

• Sign up to the Fair Work Om­buds­man’s My Ac­count online por­tal. It has also agreed to do­nate $ 5000 to the GetSet youth em­ploy­ment readi­ness pro­gram in Lee­ton.

FWO Natalie James says the case high­lights the im­por­tance of em­ploy­ers en­sur­ing they are aware of the min­i­mum en­ti­tle­ments that ap­ply to their em­ploy­ees.

“The FWO in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded that the driver was un­der­paid $50,856 be­tween 2011 and 2014”

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