Melbourne, June 6: The Fair Work Ombudsman is on the hunt for thousands of workers owed a total of more than $2 million by their former employers.
The Agency is currently holding $2.18 million in trust for 9467 people who were underpaid in a former job but who cannot be located.
The unpaid wages and entitlements were collected as a result of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s campaign work, pro-active auditing and investigations.
Last financial year, the agency recovered more than $22.3 million in underpaid wages and entitlements for 11,613 workers.
When an employee owed money cannot be located, their entitlements are held in trust and ongoing efforts are made to trace them.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says 116 people are owed amounts of $2000 or more while 343 are owed more than $1000 and 824 are owed more than $500.
Ms James says that the Agency’s Unclaimed Moneys Team has recently been able to locate 218 people and send them cheques for a total of $413,000.
The Fair Work Ombudsman recently launched a social media campaign in a bid to find workers who are owed wages.
“Anyone who thinks they may have been short-changed in a former job can visit our website and use our Online tool to check if they are on our list,” Ms James says.
“It is also an opportunity for employers and employees alike to do a health check on the compliance of their workplace and wages.’’
To search for unpaid wages, visit: www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/helping-the-community/search-for-unpaid-wages
People with a workplace concern can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. Small businesses can opt to be put through to a priority service.
An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50 and information on the website is translated into 27 languages.