ABCC commences legal action against employer for alleged non-payment of wages to employees

ABCC commences legal action against employer for alleged non-payment of wages to employees

The building industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), has commenced legal action against a regional NSW building company, alleging it has failed to comply with a compliance notice issued by the ABCC regarding the payment of outstanding wages to two employees.

The initial investigation was triggered by complaints from two workers of Ground Zero Excavations and Haulage Pty Ltd, based near Lake Macquarie. The workers, a casual plant operator and a casual truck driver, contacted the ABCC claiming that they were owed money for work they had performed for the company.

An ABCC inspector investigated the employees’ complaints and formed a reasonable view that the company had failed to pay the employees’ wages and entitlements pursuant to the relevant Modern Award, the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2020. Failure to meet award requirements constitutes a potential breach of s45 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Consistent with their investigation process, the ABCC issued a compliance notice to the company under s99(2) of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (the BCIIP Act). The intent of issuing a notice is to require a company to identify the wages and entitlements owed to the employees, rectify the outstanding amounts, and then provide reasonable evidence to the ABCC that the matter has been finalised.

In this matter, the ABCC is alleging that the company, and its sole director, Mitchell Long, failed to comply with the compliance notice.

The maximum penalties that courts can impose are $22,200 for a body corporate and $4,400 for an individual, in addition to requiring the payments of outstanding wages and entitlement payments.

ABCC starts legal action against employer over alleged non-payment of workers | ABCC

For questions about compliance, the ABCC, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 WAL LAW, 0417 622 178 or via email to

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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