Jobs lost but over $60,000 recovered

Eleven workers who lost their jobs at a Brisbane manufacturing company have received $65,000 in redundancy payments following action by the Federal Workplace Ombudsman.The workers - six men and five women aged 22 to 49, some from non-English speaking backgrounds - lost their jobs when the business they worked for closed last year.They complained to the Federal Workplace Ombudsman after their employer failed to pay them any redundancy entitlements.Executive Director Michael Campbell s

ELEVEN workers who lost their jobs at a Brisbane manufacturing company have received $65,000 in redundancy payments following action by the Federal Workplace Ombudsman.

The workers – six men and five women aged 22 to 49, some from non-English speaking backgrounds – lost their jobs when the business they worked for closed last year.

They complained to the Federal Workplace Ombudsman after their employer failed to pay them any redundancy entitlements.

Executive Director Michael Campbell says the employees had been working for the company for between three and 10 years.

He says initial efforts to recover their money proved difficult, but they have now been paid in full amounts ranging from $4500 to $9600.

Mr Campbell says the employer’s last-minute decision to pay-up probably narrowly saved it from court action.

“If we had gone down that path, the company would have faced penalties of up to $33,000 for each breach,” he said.

“In the current economic climate, it is timely to remind employers that closing a business does not mean workplace laws regarding redundancies can be ignored.”

The Workplace Ombudsman recovered $6.445 million for workers in Queensland last financial year, up 131 per cent from the $2.780 million recovered in 2006-7.

In the second half of 2008, the Agency recovered about $4 million for Queensland workers.

Employers unsure about their obligations should contact the Workplace Authority Infoline on 1300 363 264 and employees worried about entitlements should ring the Workplace Ombudsman Helpline on 1300 724 200