A transport company found to have underpaid 10 truck drivers over a two-year period has been hit with a massive repayment bill, including penalties and interest.
Adelaide-based Atkins Freight Services has been forced to dig deep after the Industrial Relations Court of South Australia order it to reimburse the drivers outstanding wages, superannuation and interest on the overdue amounts to the tune of $374,000.
The underpayments pertained to wages that were below the relevant minimum wage, and occurred between 2007 and 2009.
In addition, the company was hit with a fine of $93,000, bringing its total costs towards the $500,000 mark.
Atkins Freight Services, which hauls petroleum products interstate, appealed the original July 2016 finding, arguing that deeds of release signed by several of the drivers meant it was not obliged to reimburse them.
However, the same court dismissed the appeal, and suggested the deeds were an attempt by the company to circumvent paying the drivers minimum award wages.
All of the truck drivers have since been repaid varying amounts of between $8,012 and $91,566.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.