October is Safe Work Month, raising awareness about the importance of Health and Safety in the workplace. What can employers do to create a...
UnderpaymentsNovember 24, 2014
A petrol station which formally operated North West of Bendigo, has been fined $123,915 in Federal Court for deliberately underpaying two employees. The employees were forced to find additional means to financially support themselves and their families as they were not paid the minimum wage while working at the petrol station in their console operating positions.
The business owners did not show any contrition for the breach in workplace obligations. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) despite formally expressing their concerns two years prior in 2010, failed to reconcile the situation. Due to the employers failing to co-operate and the longevity of the underpayments, the case was taken to Federal Court.
The business owners and their “flagrant disregard” of workplace laws were forced to back pay the employees – a girl in her late 20s was paid $21,637 and a woman in her 50s was paid $25,621. The amounts rectified the underpayments of their minimum hourly rates, casual loadings, annual leave entitlements and penalty rates for weekend, public holiday and overtime work between 2008 and 2013. The employer also contravened payslips and record keeping which was another clear indication that there was a complete disregard for workplace obligations.
It comes as a warning to all small business owners in Australia, if you fail to properly follow workplace laws you will be investigated and feel the full brunt of contravening these laws by the FWO or the Federal Court. If you deliberately and coherently disregard the laws and do not co-operate with the FWO you will be fined.
The FWO is a body who ensures that the welfare of employees is protected. If you are a business owner and require some reliable and genuine guidance and a full review of your business and its current employment procedures call Employsure now on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below. Employsure implements policies and procedures on behalf of employers to ensure that their business is operating in abidance with the Fair Work Act 2009. If you have any questions relating to the minefield of employment relations, we are ready to take your call.
*Information sourced via the Fair Work Ombudsman website.