ABCC takes court action to recover outstanding wages for worker

Australian Building and Construction Commission

The ABCC has started court action against Victorian business Brighton Home Maintenance for failure to comply with two statutory notices during an ABCC investigation into the underpayment of a former employee.

Shane Chivell, the sole trader of Brighton Home Maintenance, is alleged to have underpaid a former employee by almost $10,000 in wages and entitlements. The employee was engaged as a full-time labourer and operator and was classified as a level 3 construction worker under the relevant Award.

The ABCC commenced its investigation after the former employee lodged a complaint with the agency.

In the Statement of Claim filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 11 May 2022, the ABCC alleges:

· On 1 June 2021, the ABCC issued Mr Chivell with a Notice to Produce documents under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act) relating to the former employee’s employment.

· Mr Chivell failed to comply with the Notice to Produce.

· On 17 January 2022, the ABCC issued Mr Chivell with a Compliance Notice under the BCIIP Act requiring him to pay the former employee $9,619.76 in unpaid wages and entitlements.

· Mr Chivell failed to make any payments to the former employee as required by the Compliance Notice.

The ABCC is seeking penalties against Mr Chivell for failing to comply with the statutory notices and orders compelling him to pay back the former employee with interest.

The ABCC stands ready to assist any worker who believes they have been underpaid.

The maximum available penalty for each contravention of the BCIIP Act in this case is $4,440.

So far this financial year the ABCC has recovered more than $2.26 million in wages and entitlements for 4,061 employees.

Since it was re-established on 2 December 2016 the ABCC has recovered $5.42 million for 8,776 employees.

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