It seems like another underpayment matter makes its way into the news every day. These stories may seem like fiction or things that ‘won’t happen to us.’ However, underpayments come in all different shapes and sizes and one thing that is often widespread is the underpayment of allowances.
A common grounds for underpayment found in many agreements/awards is the higher duties allowance.
This is unlikely to be a set dollar amount, rather a principle that an employee working at a higher classification than their own should be paid at the higher classification’s wage rate. Some agreements/awards apply time restrictions, restricting it to work performed over a number of days or hours, or determining that higher duties work for more than a certain number of hours should be paid at the higher rate for the entire shift.
You should check your applicable agreement or award to determine if a higher duties allowance is payable or contact your union if you think you may have been underpaid!