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Fair Work Ombudsman reveals Aussie workers lost out on record $532million in unpaid wages

Are you owed money from your boss? Fair Work Ombudsman announces that a record $532 million in unpaid wages were recovered last year

  • Fair Work Ombudsman announces record $532million in unpaid wages
  • Up to 384,000 Aussie workers were underpaid in 2021-22 financial year
  • Record sum of recovered wages is three times the figure recorded last year 

Nearly 400,000 Aussie workers have had their share in more than half a billion dollars in unpaid wages and entitlements paid out.

The Fair Work Ombudsman said the record sum of recovered wages – more than $532 million between 2021-22 – is three times the figure recorded last year.

Deputy Fair Work Oagrmbudsman Kristen Hannah announced the record year in a speech at the Policy-Influence-Reform (PIR) conference in Canberra on Monday.

Nearly 400,000 Aussie workers will receive their share of half a billion dollars in unpaid wages and entitlements (stock image)

The Fair Work Ombudsman said the record sum of recovered wages in 2021-22 is three times the figure recorded last year (pictured, commuters in Sydney)

The Fair Work Ombudsman said the record sum of recovered wages in 2021-22 is three times the figure recorded last year (pictured, commuters in Sydney)

Ms Hannah said it was ‘good news’ for workers and compliant businesses, with $297million of the total recoveries coming from large corporate employers.

‘The Fair Work Ombudsman’s strengthened compliance and enforcement approach has seen another record amount of back-paid wages for Australian workers in the last financial year,’ she said.

‘This is a great result for the workers who have been reunited with their withheld wages, and also for the businesses that pay correctly and are no longer at a disadvantage as a result.’

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched up to 50 investigations into large corporations that have self-reported underpayments. 

Deputy Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah announced the record year in Canberra on Monday and said it was 'good news' for workers and compliant businesses

Deputy Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah announced the record year in Canberra on Monday and said it was ‘good news’ for workers and compliant businesses

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched up to 50 investigations into large corporations that have self-reported underpayments (pictured, Sydney commuters)

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched up to 50 investigations into large corporations that have self-reported underpayments (pictured, Sydney commuters)

Some of Australia’s largest companies, such as the Commonwealth Bank, Commsec and Coles supermarkets, are involved in active investigations.

AMP senior economist Diana Mousina said the figures indicated there was ‘clearly’ a problem with Aussies workers being underpaid.

‘I don’t know how much longer it will take to resolve,’ Ms Mousina told the ABC.

‘[But] I don’t think it’s part of normal part of working in Australia.’

The Fair Work Ombudsman has pledged to continue to assist small businesses by providing more than 1200 written pieces of tailored technical advice to employers.

Employers and employees are encouraged to call the Fair Work Infoline for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace.

Some 200,000 aged care workers are expecting a huge pay rise after the Albanese government backed union calls for a big wage increase

Some 200,000 aged care workers are expecting a huge pay rise after the Albanese government backed union calls for a big wage increase

It comes as 200,000 aged care workers can expect a pay rise after the Albanese government-backed union calls for wage increases.

The Health Services Union is fighting for a 25 per cent increase for personal carers, activities officers, caterers, cleaners and administrators in the aged care sector.

The move would lift the minimum wage of a personal care worker from $23.09 to $28.86 an hour.

On Monday, the Albanese government made a submission to the Fair Work Commission supporting a wage boost without naming a figure.

The Prime Minister has admitted that taxpayers will have to fund the increase to stop struggling private care providers from going bust due to increased wage bills.

The Health Services Union is fighting for a 25 per cent increase for personal carers, activities officers, caterers, cleaners and administrators in the aged care sector

The Health Services Union is fighting for a 25 per cent increase for personal carers, activities officers, caterers, cleaners and administrators in the aged care sector

Earlier this year, Fair Work increased the minimum wage by 5.2 per cent and raised award wages by 4.6 per cent. 

The government’s submission said a 25 per cent increase to wages could boost the labour supply in the sector by up to 10 per cent over the next five years.

Treasury estimates that such a rise would not fuel inflation – which is which is already at 6.1 per cent – as long as it is contained to the aged care workforce.

‘In the current economic environment of above-target inflation and persistent global price shocks, there would be risks to inflation expectations if similar wage rises are demanded in associated industries,’ the government’s submission said.

An outcome is expected in early 2023.

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