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Back pay

Back pay is money that is owed to an employee for work already done. If your employer has been under-paying you and must pay you the difference, this is called ‘back pay’.

If you think you are being underpaid, the first thing to do is ask the boss to correct the situation. It could just be a simple mistake.

But if the boss says the pay is correct, the next step is to check the facts.

Every job is covered by an award or enterprise agreement. These set out the ‘rules’ about work such as pay, hours and holiday entitlements. 

Once you know the award or agreement you can figure out if you are getting the correct pay.

If you have discovered that you are being underpaid, there are some import things you need to do:
• Keep your pay slips
• Keep a record or diary of the hours that you work

Take this information to your union or when contacting the Fair Work Ombudsman.

If you have been underpaid, it is likely that the employer will be required to give you back pay for all the hours that you were underpaid – in some cases this can be a substantial amount.