Release type: Media Release


Gillard Government provides early support for GEON workers


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation

Hundreds of workers at failed printing group GEON will have faster access to their unpaid entitlements through the Gillard Government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten has exercised discretion to expedite access for GEON workers to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG).

Mr Shorten spoke with GEON workers in Sydney to announce the fast-tracked assistance.

“It’s never easy for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and are then left without being paid their rightful employee entitlements,” Mr Shorten said.

“I am proud that the Gillard Government can support these workers by allowing them to be paid their outstanding entitlements in a timely manner.

“GEON workers across Australia have around $10 million worth of entitlements owed to them.

“After receiving clear advice from administrators that the affected GEON companies will go into liquidation, the Government has moved to ensure workers can access their rightful entitlements.

"The Government’s action means families will have money in their bank accounts within weeks to pay mortgages, school fees and put food on the table. Without this, about 678 workers across the country would have otherwise been out of pocket.”

FEG helps workers recover entitlements including:

  • up to three months unpaid wages
  • unpaid long service leave
  • unpaid annual leave
  • up to 5 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice
  • redundancy pay (capped at four weeks for each year of service).

While early access to FEG is processed, GEON workers who are made redundant can access a range of Government support through Job Services Australia providers, Local Employment Coordinators and Career Advisers to help with resume development, job applications and interviews.

The Government legislated the Fair Entitlements Guarantee in December last year, replacing the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme. The FEG locks in financial assistance for workers when their employer goes into liquidation and is unable to pay employee entitlements.