Painting business operator penalised

4 August 2021

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in the Federal Circuit Court against the operator of a painting business in Brisbane.

The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a penalty of $3,000 against sole trader Michael Ross, who operated the business trading in and around Brisbane.

The penalty was imposed in response to Mr Ross failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring him to calculate and back-pay any outstanding entitlements to two former employees.

The Court also ordered Mr Ross to take the action required by the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments owed to the two employees in full, plus superannuation and interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic and business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of back-payment orders.

“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving requests for assistance from two former casual employees.

The employees alleged they had been underpaid for painting work performed for Mr Ross’s business in January 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Ross in June 2020 after forming a belief the employees were underpaid entitlements owed under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010.

It was alleged that one of the employees was paid $150 for all hours worked, including a $30 fuel allowance, and the other worker was not paid at all.

The Compliance Notice was issued regarding alleged contraventions of the minimum wage, casual loading, special allowance and industry allowance requirements under the award.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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Media inquiries:

Matthew Raggatt, Assistant Media Director (A/g)
Mobile: 0466 470 507

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