If you employ apprentices, you may be required to make back-payments of wages from January 2014.
The recent Federal Court decision means employers may be considered to have underpaid first and second-year apprentices from January 2014 and may be liable to a back-payment of unpaid wages, in accordance with the rates of pay prescribed in the applicable modern award.
This week the Federal Court in Brisbane dismissed the appeal that apprentices in the State should continue to be covered by a range of state-based agreements.
This decision will impact businesses that employ thousands of apprentices across all trades, from hairdressers, bakers, mechanics, carpenters to fitters and turners. No business can ignore this decision and will need to take immediate action to review pay rates since January 2014.
Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors recommend all businesses conduct a review of past and present employees to which a potential back payment could apply. Factors to consider include, but are not limited to:
- the specific trade involved;
- the applicable stage of apprenticeship; and
- whether or not employee/s have been paid above applicable award rates.
If you are unsure of what needs to be done, contact ABLA on 1300 565 846.