Automotive manufacturer underpaid migrant worker by $16,000

Dandenong automotive component manufacturer Katjen Enterprise was found to have underpaid a migrant worker by $16,000 over four years.

The Fair Work Ombudsman found the Vietnamese worker, whose job included sewing and gluing car interiors, was paid only a flat rate of $13 an hour (including on weekends and public holidays).

The limited English-speaking woman – she sought assistance from the Fair Work Commission via an interpreter – was entitled to as much $46.09 under the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010.

“The minimum hourly rates for ordinary working hours and annual leave entitlements were also underpaid,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.

Katjen was ordered to give the woman backpay, display a notice of its breaches at its factory, and be audited every six months for compliance for at least 18 months. It also agreed to use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s My Account online tool in future.

“Underpayments of hourly rates can result in significant underpayments if they’re left unchecked for an extended period of time,” said James in a statement.