The Fair Work Ombudsman has put all businesses on notice, warning those that do not comply with a compliance notice that they will be taken to court, after a Brisbane-based security and communications business was penalised $8,505.
The Federal Circuit Court penalised ASGBRIS $7,087.50 for failing to comply with a compliance notice, 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.
Having uncovered that 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, a compliance notice was issued.
The notice required ASGBRIS to calculate the wages and entitlements owed to the employee and back-pay her by 20 August 2019, but ASGBRIS failed to do so.
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 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 $3,610.24.
Targeted resources to assist small businesses with workplace law compliance are available at the FWO’s Small Business Showcase.
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.
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