Electrical business in court

The
Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court
against the operator of an electrical company in south Sydney.

Facing
court is WPS Trading Pty Ltd, a Sans Souci-based business trading as NIE
Electrical Group.

The
regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a former worker
who had been employed full-time as an electrical tradesman.

A
Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in February 2021 after
forming a belief the tradesman had been underpaid an accrued but untaken
rostered day off credit (RDO credit) on termination under the Electrical,
Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010, accrued during his
employment.

The
FWO alleges WPS Trading, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the
Compliance Notice, which required the company to calculate and back-pay the worker’s
outstanding entitlements.

Fair
Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce
workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic and take
businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Compliance
Notices are important tools used by inspectors to deal with apparent
contraventions of the Fair Work Act or industrial instruments, most typically
Modern Awards,” Ms Parker said.

“Where
employers do not respond to or comply with Compliance Notices, we will take
appropriate enforcement action to recover employees’ entitlements. A court can
order a business to pay penalties for not complying with such a Notice, in
addition to back-paying workers as appropriate. Any employees with concerns
about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free assistance.”

The
FWO is seeking a penalty against WPS Trading. The company faces a penalty of up
to $33,300.

The
regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to take the action
required by the Compliance Notice, including calculating and rectifying
underpayments in full to the former employee, plus interest and superannuation.

A
directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on 10
August 2021.

Employers
and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline
on 13 13 94 for free workplace advice. A free interpreter service is
available on 13 14 50.

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