Australia’s workers are being urged to check their pay slips.
Australia’s workers are being urged to check their pay slips.

Five ways you’re being cheated out of money

THE five most common ways Aussie workers are being cheated out of their hard-earned cash - every single week - have been revealed.

According to Shine Lawyers' employment law expert Christie Toy, honest mistakes and deliberate miscalculations alike can seriously add up.

"Even if your boss just miscalculated your pay by half an hour each week, that's more than three days a year of unpaid work," Ms Toy said.

"An hour a week, and it is almost a full week of work for free.

"It is really worthwhile making sure your hours and rates are correct."

Ms Toy also urged Australia's labouring contractors, hospitality and retail workers to check their pay slips next week, with a mandatory wage rise for these industries coming into force on the weekend.

The Fair Work Commission announced the 3.5 per cent increase to minimum wages which will come into effect from full pay periods after Sunday, July 1.

It will bring the new national minimum wage to $719.20 per week, or $18.93 per hour.

Ms Toy said if employers failed to pass on the new rates to workers, employees could end up essentially working for free some days.

"We know from the 7-Eleven experience that dodgy wage practices are rife in many industries but in particular hospitality, retail and labour hire businesses," she said.

"It's not always deliberate wage fraud, but can be business owners not being aware of changes to awards and pay rates.

"The best thing you can do is check your pay slip in the next few weeks. By law you should also be getting a pay slip within a day of being paid, so if you're not, start with that question."

Workers are also able to check award rates easily through the Fair Work Ombudsman website.


Hours not being recorded properly

Ms Toy said many workers were simply not being paid for the hours they actually put in on the job.

To avoid this happening to you, she advised keeping a diary of hours worked and then checking that record against your pay slip.

• Wrong hourly rates

Your boss should never change your hours to imply you earn more.

For example, if you work half the hours at double your pay, you should check the new rates for your industry on the Fair Work website, Ms Toy advised.

• Super not being paid

Your pay slip might say you are being paid your superannuation every pay cycle, but Ms Toy urged workers to check your super account balance regularly to make sure the cash is actually going in.

• Personal leave not being recorded

It's essential to keep track of your accrued annual leave and sick leave yourself to make sure that it is all being tallied correctly.

• Incorrect amount being put into your bank account

If your bank balance doesn't match your pay slip, then raise it with your employer immediately, Ms Toy said.

Both amounts should match, and you should also never be asked to refund any of your pay in cash to your boss.

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