Melbourne director back-pays workers $34,000 after company goes into liquidation

5 August 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman has successfully recovered more than $34,000 back-pay for 15 staff of a former Melbourne environmental services company.

The Agency launched a prosecution in March against Village Green Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd and the company’s manager and sole director, Douglas Brent Smith, formerly of Camberwell but who now lives in the US.

Documents lodged in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court alleged the company had failed to pay wages to some of its employees for up to six weeks.

Village Green went into voluntary liquidation in April, preventing the Fair Work Ombudsman from proceeding with litigation against the company.

However, Mr Smith last month agreed to rectify the underpayments in full, despite not being legally liable to do so.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive-Director Michael Campbell says the priority of the Agency was always to recoup outstanding entitlements for the underpaid workers.

Mr Campbell says that given Mr Smith repaid his staff – and the amount involved exceeded the maximum penalty which could have been awarded against him in the Court – the Fair Work Ombudsman chose not to seek an additional penalty.

Employers or employees seeking assistance with workplace relations should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au For translations call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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