Allegations against Pioneer companies dismissed

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s legal action against Pioneer Facility Services and Pioneer Contracting Services (Pioneer companies) has been dismissed following an appeal.

In 2016, the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action against the Pioneer companies and a subcontractor – Mr Sung Gun Hwang and his company OzKorea Pty Ltd – in relation to alleged underpayments of Korean cleaners at four Woolworths sites in Tasmania.

Last year, the Federal Circuit Court found that the Pioneer companies were accessories to underpayment contraventions by OzKorea and Mr Hwang – and the Court imposed penalties of $17,000 against Pioneer Facility Services, $17,000 against Pioneer Contracting Services, $20,400 against OzKorea and $5,000 against Mr Hwang.

The Pioneer companies appealed against liability and penalty and that appeal has now been allowed by consent in the Federal Court.

As a result, all penalties and findings of breaches against Pioneer Facility Services and Pioneer Contracting Services have been set aside and the Fair Work Ombudsman’s case has been dismissed.

The findings and penalties against OzKorea and Mr Hwang are not affected by the appeal.

Any employers or employees seeking advice or assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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