FWO secures payments and penalties against multiple employers

FWO secures payments and penalties against multiple employers

FWO secures payments and penalties against multiple employers

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has secured penalties against four separate employers amounting to $191,020 in a two-day period for failing to comply with compliance notices issued pursuant to the Fair Work Act 2009.

Back Your Cause Pty Ltd is a Queensland-based recruitment business. The FWO received a complaint from an employee who worked for the business from 27 July 2020 to 17 November 2021 and, following an investigation, determined that the company had failed to pay accrued annual leave and the minimum wage. The company failed to reply to the compliance notices issued.

In determining penalties of $25,000 against the company and $5,000 against the company’s general manager, Judge Salvatore Vasta noted,

“The fact that the first respondent, and the second respondent, have treated the compliance notice with contempt is a factor where the Court must send a very strong deterrent message”.

Saga Source Pty Ltd is an information technology business based in Western Australia. The FWO received a complaint from an employee who worked for Saga Source as a Junior Backend Developer from 8 November 2020 until 31 December 2021.

He took a period of personal leave from 5 July 2021 to 25 August 2021, for which he was not paid. The FWO investigation also determined that the business company had failed to pay all of her accrued annual leave and did not meet the minimum wage, amounting to a sum of $6,956.75.

The company failed to reply to the compliance notices issued.

Judge Vasta imposed a penalty of $12,000 on the business and a penalty of $2,500 against the company’s sole director.

NB Visionary Trading Pty Ltd (“Visionary”) is a Victorian commercial carpentry business. The FWO received complaints from two employees who worked for Visionary between 26 May and 13 November 2020 and 10 June and 27 November 2020, respectively.

The FWO determined that NB Visionary had underpaid both workers and issued compliance notices, which the company did not comply with.

In imposing a penalty of $26,640 against the business, 80% of the maximum applicable penalty, Judge Heather Riley noted,

“The complete failure of Visionary to engage with the court process, show any remorse, or take any corrective action indicates a cavalier disregard of Visionary’s obligations as an employer. A high degree of specific deterrence is warranted”.

The final case involved Upper East Side Bondi Pty Ltd (“UESB”), a company that operated a restaurant in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. An FWO investigation led to the issuing of two compliance notices requiring UESB to backpay a total of $24,412.85 owed to 8 employees.

UESB provided information back to the FWO that they had repaid outstanding amounts but, in doing so, made a number of false representations as to when the payments had been made. Judge Nicholas Manousaridis imposed penalties of $99,900 against UESB and $19,980 against the company’s sole director.

Fair Work Ombudsman v Back Your Cause Pty Ltd [2023] FedCFamC2G 955 (26 October 2023)

Fair Work Ombudsman v Saga Source Pty Ltd [2023] FedCFamC2G 954 (26 October 2023)

Fair Work Ombudsman v NB Visionary Trading Pty Ltd [2023] FedCFamC2G 950 (25 October 2023)

Fair Work Ombudsman v Upper East Side Bondi Pty Ltd [2023] FedCFamC2G 960 (26 October 2023)

For questions about compliance with awards, enterprise agreements, the FWO, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 925 529, 0417 622 178 or via email to dean.cameron@workforceadvisory.com.au

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.

Ref: 400.1123

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