Electrical services business in court 30 June

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of an electrical services business in Melbourne.

Facing court are DB Richardson Trading Pty Ltd, which operated an electrical services business trading as ‘Electrafi’ at Springvale South, and the company’s sole director Desmond Brian Richardson.

The regulator began an investigation after receiving requests for assistance from two workers DB Richardson Trading had employed as electrical workers.

A Fair Work inspector issued a Compliance Notice to DB Richardson Trading in September 2021 after forming a belief that the company underpaid the workers’ minimum wages and annual leave entitlements under the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Award 2010, Electrical, Electronic and Communications Award 2020 and the National Employment Standards.

Both of the electrical workers were young workers and were apprentices for part of their employment.

The inspector formed a belief that one of the workers, aged 20 to 21 during his employment, had been paid a total of just $100 for approximately five months of casual work and four months of full-time work between May 2020 and February 2021.

The inspector formed a belief that the other worker, aged 19 during his employment, had been paid a total of just $3250 for more than three months of casual work and more than seven months of part-time work between January and December in 2020.

The FWO alleges DB Richardson Trading Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required the calculation and back-payment of the workers’ outstanding entitlements. It is alleged Mr Richardson was involved in the contravention.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.

The FWO is seeking penalties against DB Richardson Trading Pty Ltd and Mr Richardson for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice. The company faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Richardson faces a penalty of up to $6,660.

The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, including rectifying any underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 25 August 2022.

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