Perth construction business penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $36,000 in penalties in court against the operators of a construction company in Perth.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $30,000 penalty against Utility Five Pty Ltd, which operates an on-site building, engineering and civil construction business trading as Metro Civil WA at Baldivis, and a $6,000 penalty against the company’s owner and sole director Brian Edward Johnson.

The penalties were imposed in response to Utility Five Pty Ltd failing to comply with Compliance Notices requiring the back-payment of entitlements to two workers employed by the company before their employment ended in November 2020 and February 2021. Mr Johnson was involved in the contraventions.

The Court has also ordered the company to comply with the Compliance Notices by back-paying the workers in full.

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 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 regulator investigated after receiving requests for assistance from the affected workers.

A Fair Work Inspector issued two Compliance Notices to Utility Five Pty Ltd in 2021 after forming a belief that the workers had not been paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards, at the conclusion of their employment.

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