Kitchen installation business operator in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of a kitchen installation and fitting business in Melbourne.

Facing court is Oscar Donence, who operates the business as a sole trader.

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who was employed by Mr Donence as a general hand and trades assistant on a casual basis between 9 February and 22 March 2021.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Donence in July 2021 after forming a belief the worker had been underpaid entitlements under the Building and Construction General Onsite Award 2010 and the Building and Construction General Onsite Award 2020.

The entitlements included minimum wages, casual loading and the general construction industry allowance.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mr Donence, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to take business operators 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.

Mr Donence faces a maximum penalty of up to $6,600 for allegedly failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order for Mr Donence to take the action required by the Compliance Notice, including calculating and rectifying any underpayment in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 23 May 2022.

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