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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

What if my entitlements are not paid?

If your employer has not paid some or all of your wages or entitlements, there are steps you can take to try and recover the money that you are owed.


     If the business you work for changed ownership while you were working for them, you should get legal advice about whether your service is continuous. This may affect who you can claim unpaid entitlements from, and how much.

    Talk to your employer

    It is usually a good idea to talk to your employer before you consider starting court action to try and recover your entitlements. Your employer may not have realised that they didn't pay you the right amount.

    If you are not comfortable talking to your employer, or after talking to your employer your entitlements remain unpaid, you can consider writing a letter of demand.  A letter of demand is a record of how much you say is owed and makes it clear to your employer what action you may take if they don't pay.

    For more information, see Talk to your employer.

    Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman

    If your employer still hasn't paid you after you have sent a letter of demand, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO). The FWO can investigate complaints against employers and in some cases take further action.

    For more information, see  Contacting the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    Start a court case

    If your employer has refused to pay you, you can start a court case. Court cases for recovery of unpaid wages and entitlements are usually started in the Federal Circuit Court.  

    For more information, see Starting a court case.

     The time limit for starting a court case is generally six years from when you should have been paid. You should get legal advice before you start a court case.

    Make a claim under the GEERS or FEG

    If your employer cannot pay your entitlements because they have gone bankrupt or into liquidation, you may be able to recover some or all of your unpaid wages and entitlements by making a claim under the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) or Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG).

    For more information, see What if my employer can't pay me? 

    Case study - Kim-Ly

    Kim-Ly worked as a full-time cook for Tasty Foods Pty Ltd for just over three years, before being told she had been made redundant. She was given two weeks notice.

    Over the course of her employment, she took a total of eight weeks annual leave. On her last day of work, her payslip showed she was being paid her ordinary hours up to her last day. She was not paid anything else.

    Kim-Ly believes she is entitled to payment in lieu of notice, a redundancy payment and payment for unused annual leave.​​
     
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    Further info​r​mation

    ​​Department of Employment