Disputes about employee entitlements - video transcript
Transcript of video about disputes about employee entitlement, presented by John, ASIC's Misconduct and Breach Reporting team, uploaded 14 January 2014.
What are employee entitlements?
Employee entitlements are the agreed conditions of your employment. They include things like your pay and all types of leave, including sick leave, annual leave and long service leave.
They also refer to employer superannuation contributions and other benefits.
When do disputes happen?
A dispute can happen when your employer fails to meet one or more of the agreed conditions.
Sometimes, an employer isn’t paying you the agreed amount, or perhaps they aren’t withholding tax or paying your super. It could even be something as simple as not issuing you a pay slip.
Often, disputes about employee entitlements happen when a company is in liquidation.
What are my options?
Who you should contact will depend on the type of entitlement you're in dispute about, and also on the status of the company.
For example, is it still operating, in liquidation or is it abandoned?
If the company is still operating and your dispute is about unpaid wages, leave or workplace entitlements, you should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.
If the company is operating, and your dispute is about failure to withhold tax, pay super or issue pay slips, you should contact the Australian Tax Office.
Companies in liquidation
Put simply, liquidation is the process by which a liquidator sells a company’s assets, pays its debts and closes or deregisters the company.
If the company is in liquidation, the liquidator should contact you.
Any concerns you have should be reported to the liquidator.
You can also check on ASIC Connect to see if a company is in liquidation.
Depending on when the liquidation commenced, you may be able to claim unpaid entitlements.
This can be done through the:
If you think the company is no longer carrying on business, you can submit an online report form for ASIC to wind up the company.
There are certain criteria that must be met before we will decide to wind up a company.
We will consider each request to see if it meets the criteria.
If we decide to wind up a company, you may then be able to claim your entitlements through the Fair Work Entitlement Guarantee.
Follow the links on the ASIC website at Where ASIC can help.
What is ASIC's role here?
Our role in disputes about employee entitlements is generally aimed at punishing misconduct rather than recovering individual entitlements.
If a company has been abandoned and employees are owed entitlements, ASIC does have the power to wind up that company.
It is important to note that this doesn’t happen in all situations. There must be enough evidence that the company is abandoned and winding it up would help employees access entitlements.
If we decide not to wind up the company you can apply to the court for an order to have it wound up.
You should seek private legal advice about this process.
For more information see Information Sheet 160 Disputes about employee entitlements.