A technology business and its owner have collectively copped the largest penalty on record for failing to comply with a ruling by the Fair Work Commission.
Paul Desmond Wallace and his Brisbane-based firm Macquarie Technology Group International have been fined a combined $125,600 by the Federal Circuit Court for non-compliance with a previous ruling by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
In 2015, the FWC dismissed appeals by the company against an order to pay $20,769 in compensation and a further $8,470 in costs to a former engineer based in NSW following a ruling that the employee had been unfairly dismissed.
The funds, however, were never paid, despite the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) claiming to have issued several requests for the order to be complied with.
As such, the Ombudsman took legal action for non-compliance, resulting in Macquarie Technology being penalised a further $105,000 and Mr Wallace personally being penalised $20,600.
But the bill has grown ever larger: in addition to the penalties, the court ordered the payment of the original sum to the affected employee as well as a further $5,646 in interest, as well as $2,678 in legal costs payable to the Fair Work Ombudsman for prosecuting the case.
All up, the dispute has now cost Macquarie Technology and Mr Wallace almost $163,200.
“The penalties obtained by the Fair Work Ombudsman send a strong message to businesses that there are serious consequences for failing to comply with Fair Work Commission Orders.
“It is fundamental for the integrity of the workplace relations system that orders are complied with and we will take legal action to ensure employees receive compensation,” Ms Parker said.
These proceedings are not the first time Macquarie Technology and Mr Wallace have fallen afoul of the FWO. In 2011, penalties of $6,380 were issued against them after another employee was found to have been underpaid by close to $6,000.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.