Furniture removalist business faces court
30 July 2021
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the operator of a Brisbane-based furniture removalist business.
Facing court is Rahul Nagpal, Affordable Movers Brisbane’s sole trader.
The regulator began an investigation after receiving enquiries from former employees who worked for the Eight Mile Plains-based company as casual driver assistants for various periods between June and July 2020.
A Fair Work Inspector issued two Compliance Notices to Mr Nagpal in February 2021 after forming a belief that the workers had not been paid what they were owed under the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020.
The inspector formed a belief that one of the workers, who was paid a flat rate of $18 per hour, was underpaid minimum rates for ordinary hours worked, casual loading and overtime.
The inspector also formed a belief that the other two workers were not paid at all for time worked, and were therefore owed minimum rates for ordinary hours worked, overtime rates, and casual loading. Additionally, in respect of one of these workers, the inspector also formed a belief that they were owed a minimum payment of four hours per engagement.
The FWO alleges Mr Nagpal, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notices which required him to calculate and back-pay the employees’ entitlements.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Ms Parker said.
“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”
Mr Nagpal faces maximum penalties of $6,660 per failure to comply with a Compliance Notice.
In addition to penalties, the regulator is seeking a court order for Mr Nagpal to take the action the Compliance Notices require, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.
A directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on 7 September 2021.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.
Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au .
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Claire Low, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0418 825 074
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