Manager of food truck manufacturer penalised

The
Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in the Federal Circuit Court against
the manager of a Melbourne business that built custom
food trailers, vans and trucks.

The
Federal Circuit Court has imposed a penalty of $4,410 against Mr Yener Gelgel,
manager of Craigieburn-based company Mobile Food Vans & Trucks Pty
Ltd.

The
penalty was imposed in response to Mr Gelgel’s involvement in the company’s failure
to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the calculation and back-payment
of entitlements to a former sheet metal worker, who was a visa holder from
India.

Mobile
Food Vans & Trucks Pty Ltd was placed into external administration after
the Federal Circuit Court declared in April that the company had failed to
comply with the Compliance Notice and that Mr Gelgel was involved in that
breach.

Fair
Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on
Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on
top of back-payments.

“When
Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to
protect employees’ lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Any
employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for
free advice and assistance.”

In
a written penalty judgment, Judge John O’Sullivan said the failure to comply
with the Compliance Notice is “serious”.

“The
[Fair Work Ombudsman] submitted, and I accept, that the penalties that should
be imposed on [Mr Gelgel] must be at an amount that shows that this behaviour
is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the Court, and also to serve as a
deterrent to any future contravenors,” his Honour said.

The
Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving a request for assistance from
the former employee.

A
Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice in April 2020 after forming a
belief that Mobile Food Vans & Trucks Pty Ltd had underpaid the employee
their entitlements under the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and
Retail Award 2010 and the Fair Work Act 2009.

The
inspector believed the employee had been underpaid his minimum wages for
ordinary hours, overtime and annual leave entitlements during two periods of
his employment – between May and June 2018, and between March and August in
2019.

The
Fair Work Ombudsman has an agreement with the Department of Home Affairs,
called the Assurance Protocol, where visa holders with work rights can ask for
our help without fear of their visa being cancelled. Information and conditions
are available at our webpage for visa
holder workers
.

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