ABCC recovers $1 million in workers’ wages

In a significant milestone, the Australian Building and Construction Commission has exceeded $1 million in recovered wages for almost 1400 workers.

The ABCC has been responsible for ensuring building and construction workers are paid correctly since 2 December 2016 and continues to build its work in this area.

The ABCC has so far audited over 350 employers to ensure they are paying their workers correctly and has undertaken over 100 investigations into alleged underpayments.

Money recovered by the ABCC for workers includes:

 Over $115,000 back paid to seven Queensland bricklayers after their employer failed to comply with their enterprise agreement

 Over $57,000 back paid to five carpentry apprentices in NSW after their employer failed to pay the modern award

 $54,000 recovered for 10 formwork workers in NSW after their company failed to comply with its enterprise agreement

 $23,500 back paid to 67 labour hire workers in WA after their employer misclassified them under the modern award and did not pay the correct rates for overtime work

 $10,223 back paid to 10 scaffolding workers in NT after it was found their employer failed to pay overtime and their fares and travel allowance

 The ABCC has also commenced legal action against an employer in Victoria who is alleged to have failed to pay a labourer $22,000 and threatened to sack the worker when he asked about his pay.

ABCC Commissioner Stephen McBurney said these results were a timely reminder for employers to make sure they are paying their workers correctly.

“The $1 million milestone achieved this week demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we are fulfilling our statutory mandate as a full service regulator,” Mr McBurney said.

“Some of the problems we commonly identify include non-payment of allowances, failure to pay minimum wage rates, failure to keep proper records and confusion about the correct industrial instrument.

“We stand ready to assist any employer who is unsure of the legal obligations or any worker who believes they have not been paid what they are owed.”

Anyone with concerns about wages and entitlements in the building and construction industry can call our hotline on 1800 003 338 or complete our anonymous reporting form at

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