The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty of $18,700 in court against a former crane hire company in the Macedon Ranges region in Victoria.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed the penalty against Teds Crane Hire Pty Ltd, which previously operated in Gisborne, north-west of Melbourne.
The penalty was imposed in response to Teds Crane Hire failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to a worker it employed as a crane operator between April 2018 and August 2020.
The Court has also ordered the company to take the steps required by the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and back-paying the worker’s outstanding entitlements in full, plus interest.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”
The FWO investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Teds Crane Hire Pty Ltd in March 2021 after forming a belief the worker was not paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements and payment-in-lieu-of-notice-of-termination entitlements owed under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
In imposing the penalty, Judge Catherine Symons found that there was a need to deter other employers “from simply ignoring a compliance notice, as (Teds Crane Hire) did in this case.”
“I consider that the silence and inaction maintained by (Teds Crane Hire) in its interactions with the FWO and in the context of this proceeding aggravates the seriousness of the contravention,” Judge Symons said.