30 July 2009
Directors face court over underpayments to security workers
The federal workplace watchdog has launched a prosecution against the directors of a security company which operated throughout the Illawarra region, alleging it underpaid three workers more than $32,000.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is prosecuting Matthew McGrath, of Brownsville, and Gary Carpenter, of Hill Top.
The two are directors of Mittagong-based business McCarvis Pty Ltd, which was placed into voluntary liquidation in January.
Documents lodged in the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney allege that Mr McGrath and Mr Carpenter were involved in McCarvis underpaying three casual security officers in 2007 and 2008.
The Fair Work Ombudsman claims the employees were underpaid $16,933, $13,549 and $1524 respectively.
The security officers were allegedly paid a flat hourly rate of $13 for various “training shifts” and were paid a flat hourly rate of $20 for all other hours worked.
This allegedly resulted in underpayment of their minimum hourly rate, annual leave entitlements, overtime rates and shift loadings. The company has back-paid the workers only a small amount of what they are allegedly owed.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also claims that Mr McGrath and Mr Carpenter were involved in McCarvis’s failure to officially lodge Australian Workplace Agreements for the three security officers.
Executive Director Michael Campbell says they each face a maximum potential penalty of $6600 per breach. The case is listed for a directions hearing tomorrow.
The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces.
It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national workplace laws.
Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au. For translations call 13 14 50.
Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924