NSW company fined for underpaying young plumber

24 May 2010

The owner-operator of a NSW company has been fined $3200 for underpaying a young plumber.

Glenn David Oag, of Boorowa in southern NSW, received the fine in the Chief Industrial Magistrate's Court in Sydney after admitting he was involved in his company, G.O. Plumbing Pty Ltd, underpaying the plumber $7551.

G.O. Plumbing Pty Ltd went into liquidation earlier this year, preventing the Fair Work Ombudsman from proceeding with its prosecution against the company.

Chief Industrial Magistrate Gregory Hart ordered that Oag's fine be paid to the underpaid plumber within 28 days.

The underpayment occurred between March and October, 2006, when G.O. Plumbing employed the plumber to install drainage and pipes for new houses in the south coast region of NSW and the surrounding Canberra region.

The plumber was under 21 at the time.

G.O. Plumbing underpaid the plumber' minimum hourly rate and annual leave entitlements as a result of paying him apprentice rates but failing to officially register him as an apprentice.

The plumber was paid $10.65 an hour but was entitled to receive adult rates of $17.68 an hour because he had not been registered. He has not been back-paid.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the case serves to remind employers that only registered apprentices can be paid apprentice rates.

He says employers unsure about wages and entitlements for their staff should check the Fair Work Ombudsman’s user-friendly resources at www.fwo.gov.au.

Employers or employees seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. 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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