FWO recovers $34,100 for dead employee’s annual leave and long service

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $34,100 for the estate of a Burwood health professional who died last year.

The man’s employer failed to pay-out his accrued annual and long service leave entitlements after he passed away and the FWO pursued the matter at the request of the executor of the employee’s estate.

After Fair Work inspectors contacted the business and explained its obligations the employee’s estate was reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer.

Acting Fair Work ombudsman Michael Campbell said the case highlights the importance of employers ensuring they paid all lawful entitlements.

“Even in the unfortunate circumstance of an employee passing away, the employer must ensure that the employee’s estate is paid any accrued or outstanding entitlements,” Campbell said in a statement.

As the employer agreed to voluntarily back-pay the employee’s estate the FWO was unable to name the employer.

Employment lawyer Peter Vitale told SmartCompany when employees die often a statutory entitlement has been accrued.

“The right is accrued by the employee prior to them passing away and the estate is entitled to collect it,” he says.

Vitale’s advice to businesses is to make sure they get proper documentation before paying up any accrued entitlements.

“First, obtain evidence from the executor or other personal representative of the deceased that they are properly authorised to administer the estate, usually that will involve producing a copy of the probate order from the Supreme Court,” he says.

“Once that authority is established the employer should have no difficulty making payment into the proper account for the purposes of the estate.”

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