A real estate agent in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn has been forced to back-pay a 28-year-old worker $5000 after the Fair Work Ombudsman found he was being underpaid.
The employee, who was on a 485 temporary graduate visa, was paid just $9 an hour (less than $375 a week) for duties including drafting contracts, general administration and assisting buyers.
The employee sought assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman after reading about Australia’s minimum wage and trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issue with his employer.
When contacted by the Fair Work Ombudsman, the business operator believed that the employee was being correctly paid as an intern.
However, the Fair Work Ombudsman explained that the worker was an employee, and even if on probation, was entitled to the minimum wage.