AWU WA Win: Industrial Magistrates Court finds member was underpaid

Tuesday 27th August 2019

The AWU WA Branch made application to the Industrial Magistrates Court on behalf of a Vesco Foods member, for underpayment of overtime rates to the member.

The relevant agreement (Vesco Foods Pty Ltd (Production Employees, Western Australia) Enterprise Agreement 2017), together with its undertakings, stipulate that a worker must not be paid less than the award for base rates and overtime rates. Both the award (Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010) and the agreement state that part-time workers are entitled to overtime rates when they work in excess of their agreed hours.

The Magistrate determined that, while a part-time worker may be rostered for up to 38 hours in a week, the member’s “agreed hours” are the hours published in the weekly roster and accepted by him. Any hours worked in excess of these rostered hours would therefore constitute overtime and must be paid as such, with overtime hours worked on Saturdays paid at double time. The Magistrate found that Vesco Foods was in contravention of the Fair Work Act.

Of the sample week that the AWU WA Branch submitted the Magistrate found that the member is owed $114.36. The Magistrate has instructed both parties to determine the extent of the total underpayment.

This is an important precedent for part-time workers at Vesco Foods.