Employees in Australia receive nearly AU $500 million of lost wages 

The large amount of money recovered is testament to efforts to create a culture of accountability and compliance, says the Fair Work Ombudsman.
By: | October 25, 2023

Underpaid employees in Australia who work in big organisations and universities are the recipients of around half a billion dollars owed in back pay in the last year, says the Fair Work Ombudsman, an independent statutory agency of the Government of Australia. 

The number of back wages, totalling around AU $509 million (US $323.5 million) for 251,475 underpaid employees, had largely came from big corporate and university employers, paying around more than AU $317 million (US$201.5 million) to more than 160,000 underpaid employees for 2022-2023.  

The statutory agency also recovered a total of AU $40.3 million (US$25.6 million) from 15 businesses, including some of Australia’s largest employers like David Jones, Politix, Crown Melbourne and Perth, Charles Sturt University, the University of Newcastle, and University of Technology Sydney.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman has created a firmer culture of accountability and an environment that expects Australia’s largest employers to prioritise compliance,” said Anne Booth, Fair Work Ombudsman. “These efforts, including prioritising both the large corporates and university sectors, and combining stronger, targeted compliance and enforcement action across our work, have led to more wages returned to workers’ pockets.” 

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The investigations conducted by the Fair Work Ombudsman, Booth added, is a clear message to employers in Australia to prioritise meeting all the lawful entitlements of employees, including by improving their payroll and governance and investing in advice, reported 9News.