If you have been underpaid, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Underpayment of wages is something that can can cause much stress to the individuals who are affected. If you believe that you have been underpaid it is important that you get advice quickly so that the matter can get resolved without delay. In most cases these issues can be resolved through advocacy and negotiation. In some cases it may be necessary to refer the matter for determination by the Industrial Relations Commission.
Any claim will need to set out:
Sometimes underpayments happen because of computer or human error, wrong number of hours being paid, penalty rates not being applied, other entitlements were not paid such as leave or allowances. Sometimes an employee is paid the right pay rate at the start of their employment but they’re underpaid later. This might happen if:
Your employer will need to respond to the claim. That response must be received within 14 days.
You and your employer will be asked to attend a conciliation conference, which aims to settle the matter by agreement. It is informal and private with each party given an opportunity to explain their position. The SAET Member presiding may during the conference speak to you and your representative as well as your employer separately to develop settlement options. Anything you say privately will not be repeated to the other party without your permission.
If an agreement can be reached then the SAET Member will record the terms of settlement, and this agreement is binding on the parties. If the matter doesn’t resolve at the conference then it will be given a date for a listing conference. This is an informal type of hearing to make sure that the parties are ready to go to trial, and to set a date for the trial. If the matter goes to trial the discussion or recommendations from the conciliation conference remain confidential and cannot be used at the trial. The timing for all of this is quite short, generally three months.
If you would like advice in relation to a potential underpayment enquiry, we can help you assess your rights and assist you through the process. We work on a no win/no fee basis for unfair dismissal claims so contact us today for a no obligation consultation.