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What should I do if I think I am being underpaid?

by | Jul 29, 2021 | Workplace & Employment

There are a number of ways in which an employee might be underpaid.

It may be the case for example, that there has been a complete failure to pay your wage, superannuation entitlement or an amount owed for a period of leave (including annual, long service or personal leave).

Alternatively, your employer may have failed to pay you the full or correct amount owed. In the case of casual workers for example, this may include a failure to pay any applicable loadings, overtime, allowances or penalty rates.

If you believe that you have been underpaid consider taking the following steps:

  1. Keep track of dates and hours that you have worked

You never know when this type of information will come in handy, whether grappling with a potential underpayment or just being organised, chances are you will thank yourself later.

  1. Determine how much you are entitled to and how frequently

You can work this out by referring to your employment contract as well as any applicable modern award or enterprise agreement.

  1. Check whether you are being paid at the correct rate and for the correct amount of time

The easiest way to do this will be by reference to your payslips. Your employer is required to provide you with a payslip detailing this kind of information each and every time you get paid.

  1. Don’t jump to conclusions

If the above three steps confirm your suspicions, consider the possibility that there may have been a genuine mistake. Depending on the circumstances, it may be reasonable to raise the matter with your employer and to provide them with the opportunity to correct the underpayment.

  1. Get legal advice

This may be the preferable course of action if you are uncomfortable about the prospect of raising the issue with your employer, have done so in the past with no result or believe that your employer may be underpaying you on a deliberate and/or systematic basis.

Don’t wait to act.

While you have six years from the date that a payment becomes due to seek recovery, remember that memories fade, documents get displaced and people come and go. Don’t lose the opportunity to put your best case forward.

How can Nevett Ford help?

If you believe that you have been underpaid or have any questions, please contact our Employment & Workplace Relations Team on 03 9614 7111 or email melbourne@nevettford.com.au.