FWO alleges contempt of court for first time

16 November 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has alleged contempt of court by a Northern Queensland business operator by contravening a freezing order that applies to funds in his company’s accounts.

Facing the Federal Circuit Court is Leigh Alan Jorgensen, the owner-operator of a Cairns company trading as Trek North Tours.

The contempt of court application against Jorgensen relates to allegations in respect of a freezing order the Fair Work Ombudsman secured against Mr Jorgensen’s company in 2015.

The Federal Circuit Court made the freezing orders preventing any dispersion of Jorgensen’s and his company’s assets. The orders were to apply until such time that penalties and back-payments from the litigation relating to underpayment of wages were complied with.  

Mr Jorgensen subsequently paid the penalty imposed on him personally into Court, resulting in the freezing order against him being lifted.

However, Mr Jorgensen’s company has failed to pay its penalty and failed to back-pay workers, resulting in the freezing order against his company remaining in place.

The Fair Work Ombudsman now alleges that in August 2015, Jorgensen committed contempt of court when he contravened the freezing order against his company by transferring a total of $41,035 from two company accounts into his family trust account.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah said the agency was committed to ensuring all workers receive their lawful entitlements.

The matter is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on December 5.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

Small business operators can opt to receive priority service and a free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO external-icon.png, the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au External link icon or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au External link icon.

Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.

Media inquiries:

Mark Lee, Director of Media,
Mobile: 0408 547 381
mark.lee@fwo.gov.au

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