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Unpaid wages and entitlements happen when you fail to pay the minimum monetary amount or the allowances that are set out in the modern award or agreement that your employees work under.

It can happen in many ways, including:

  • paying less than the minimum hourly rate
  • failure to pay penalty rates, overtime and allowances
  • taking inappropriate deductions from wages
  • refusing to allow leave
  • demanding wages be paid back in “cash-back” schemes
  • paying employees in cash “off the books”
  • unpaid work experience or internships

Failing to pay your employees their proper wages and entitlements is not only unlawful, it can result in you receiving enormous fines and penalties that can bankrupt your business.

As an employer, there is no excuse for not meeting your legal workplace obligations to your workers, including paying them the proper hourly rate, overtime, penalties, leave, allowances and entitlements.

In Australia, the current minimum wage is $694.90 a week, or $18.29 an hour for a 38-hour week.

To help you work out what you are legally required to pay your workers under their relevant award, the Fair Work Ombudsman website has a special calculator that you can use, or you can contact our experts here at Employer Advisors, and we can guide you through your legal obligations.

We are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm (Queensland time) Monday to Friday, but will make appointments after hours as well by arrangement.

For more information call Employer Advisors on

1300 853 837


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