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A Fair Work Ombudsman investigation has found a business near Coffs Harbour on the NSW Mid-North Coast failed to pay correct annual leave entitlements and calculate accurate leave balances for its shift workers for six years.

The employer miscalculated the leave balances of 75 workers and underpaid 61 employees a total of almost $54,700 in annual leave entitlements. Some employees were affected by both the underpayments and miscalculations.

Four successive workplace agreements provided the employees with an extra week of annual leave every year and annual leave loading that included shift penalties.

A query from a single employee who believed the agreement was being incorrectly applied sparked the Fair Work Ombudsman investigation.

The highest amount a worker was underpaid was $4330 and the largest correction to an annual leave balance was 70.59 hours.

The Fair Work Ombudsman says the business promptly back-paid outstanding leave entitlements and corrected leave balances of the affected former and current employees following extensive dealings with the Agency and checks by an external auditor.

The Fair Work Ombudsman says the employer should have had systems in place to monitor and correctly calculate its employees’ annual leave entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman said most underpayments were inadvertent and the result of employers failing to check their obligations under workplace laws.

Source: FWO Media Release 9 August 2016