Tasmanian resort faces court over alleged underpayments and sham contracting

16 February 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the operators of a Tasmanian resort for allegedly underpaying workers and engaging in sham contracting.

Facing court is Maclean Bay Pty Ltd, a Brisbane-based company which operates the Diamond Island Resort located at Bicheno on Tasmania’s east coast.

Also being prosecuted is Maclean Bay director and part-owner Wendy Ann Wells, of Brisbane, who is allegedly involved in managing the Diamond Island Resort.

Documents lodged in the Federal Magistrates Court in Hobart allege Maclean Bay underpaid several Diamond Island Resort employees thousands of dollars in superannuation and annual leave entitlements.

It is alleged that Maclean Bay also breached the sham contracting provisions of workplace laws by reclassifying several workers from ‘employees’ to ‘independent contractors’.

Maclean Bay allegedly further breached workplace laws by dismissing several employees who refused to accept the reclassification.

It is alleged a total of 12 workers were affected by the various breaches, including cleaning, administrative and restaurant staff and a gardener.

Ms Wells was allegedly involved in all breaches committed by Maclean Bay.

Fair Work Ombudsman Tasmanian Director Glenn Jordan says the decision to prosecute was made because of the seriousness of the alleged breaches.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the company and Ms Wells committed several breaches of workplace laws. The maximum penalty per breach is $33,000 for Maclean Bay and $6600 for Ms Wells.

The Agency is also seeking Court Orders for Maclean Bay and Ms Wells to pay compensation to the affected workers for the loss and damages suffered. The case is listed for a directions hearing on March 12.

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.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484

Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924

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