The Fair Work Commission has issued a change to the Broadcasting and Recorded Entertainment Award 2010, which is now in force and employers...
Modern AwardsDecember 18, 2014
A marine captain of the Devine Marine Group Pty Ltd has failed to pay Fijian workers the correct hourly rate.
Employees of this company are meant to be paid under the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award.
The company paid the workers a daily $100 “living away from home allowance” and called them trainees. Although, the ‘trainees’ were working 12 hour days, seven days a week.
If the workers were classified as employees, they should have been paid at least $60 extra a day under the Award.
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) first got involved in 2011 when one of the workers passed out when assisting another worker who had collapsed in a buoyancy tank.
Initially, the Fijian ‘trainees’ told the FWO they were only training and the FWO dropped the legal action against the company. Eventually, the Fijian ‘trainees’ disclosed that the marine captain of the company actually told them to lie.
Their work mainly involved breaking down a Japanese vessel for sale as scrap and repair work that the company was about to use on a valuable contract in Queensland.
During the court procession, the judge said that the only proper objective conclusion on the evidence was that the Fijians were employees and not trainees.
According to the judge, factors supporting their employee status included:
The judge said that after looking at the evidence, it is clear that the purpose of the marine captain’s strategy “was to avoid the company having to pay the rates which would otherwise be applicable to the performance of that work by local employees”.
There will be declarations accordingly on the penalties to the captain and the company.
Devine Marine Group failed to follow their employment obligations and did not give their workers their correct entitlements. If you would like to ensure that you are paying your staff correctly and under the correct Modern Award call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.
*Information sourced via the Fair Work Ombudsman website.