Wagga transport company fined for underpaying employees almost $150,000

21 January 2011

A Wagga transport company has been fined $30,000 for underpaying 34 employees following a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Sydney has imposed the penalty on Farey Transport & Trading Pty Ltd, which is engaged in transporting milk and a range of grocery products.

Chief Industrial Magistrate Gregory Hart found the company had underpaid 34 employees a total of $146,876 between November, 2006 and March, 2009.

The company paid its workers a flat rate of $19.50 for all hours worked on weekdays and $20.50 for all hours worked on weekends.

This resulted in underpayment of the employees’ annual leave entitlements and penalty rates for overtime, weekend and public holiday work.

The workers were variously employed as truck drivers or to perform general yard duties. Most were employed on a full-time basis.

The underpayments of individual employees ranged from $206 to $26,000.

Farey Transport & Trading has rectified the underpayments.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the case serves as a reminder to employers of their need to regularly check they are meeting their lawful obligations to ensure they pay employees their full entitlements.

“Successful prosecutions such as this benefit employers who are complying with workplace laws because it helps them to compete on a level playing field,” Mr Campbell said.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and user-friendly resources on its website to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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