Melbourne environmental services company allegedly underpaid workers $40,000

24 March 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against a Melbourne environmental services company, alleging it owes 10 workers more than $40,000.

Facing court is Village Green Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd and the company’s manager and sole director Douglas Brent Smith, of Camberwell.

Documents lodged in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court allege Mr Smith was involved in Village Green Environmental Solutions failing to pay several weeks’ wages to 15 employees when they fell due in December, 2008 and January, 2009.

Mr Smith was allegedly also involved in the company failing to pay accrued annual leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice to some of the employees whose positions were terminated at the time.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Village Green Environmental Solutions has partially back-paid the workers but still owes $40,779 to 10 former employees.

The biggest amount allegedly still owing to an individual worker is $7170.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the decision to launch the prosecution was made because of the significant amount involved and the employer’s failure to fully rectify the matter.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the company and Mr Smith committed several breaches of workplace relations laws.

The Agency is seeking penalties against the company and Mr Smith and a Court Order for the money allegedly still owed to be back-paid.

The maximum potential penalty per breach is $33,000 for Village Green Environmental Solutions and $6600 for Mr Smith.

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
craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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