The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured penalties totalling $8,505 against the operators of a Brisbane-based security and communications installation services business for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.
The Federal Circuit Court penalised ASGBRIS Pty Ltd (ASGBRIS) $7,087.50, and its sole director Mr Stephen Ward $1,417.50 for his role in the workplace law breaches.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the outcome reinforced the importance of Compliance Notices to help workers recover unpaid wages.
“Compliance Notices are an important tool we use to get unpaid wages back into workers’ pockets. Businesses are on notice that if they don’t comply with Compliance Notices, they can expect court action,” Ms Parker said.
“We encourage any worker with concerns about their pay and entitlements to contacts us for assistance.”
In April 2019, a Fair Work Inspector commenced an investigation into ASGBRIS after receiving a request for assistance from an employee who worked at the businesses from November 2018 to February 2019.
A Compliance Notice was issued after the inspector finalised the investigation and formed a belief ASGBRIS had underpaid the worker in contravention of the National Employment Standards and the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010.
Specifically, the inspector believed ASGBRIS had failed to pay the employee overtime, personal leave, accrued annual leave on termination, annual leave loading, and payment in lieu of notice of termination.
The Compliance Notice required ASGBRIS to calculate the wages and entitlements owed to the employee and back-pay her by 20 August 2019. ASGBRIS did not comply with the Compliance Notice.
ASGBRIS and Mr Ward instead claimed the employee was only entitled to trainee wages, despite the fact she was never subject to a formal training contract and was not paid trainee wages during her employment.
The FWO subsequently took legal action seeking penalties, and enforcement of the Compliance Notice against ASGBRIS and Mr Ward.
After the FWO had commenced its litigation, ASGBRIS took the action required by the Compliance Notice, including calculating the wages owed to the employee and back-paying her $3610.24.
Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.
Targeted resources to assist small businesses with workplace law compliance are available at the FWO’s Small Business Showcase.