Cairns insurance business operators fined almost $55,000 over underpayments

PLEASE NOTE:

The Federal Magistrates Court’s decision in this case was overturned on appeal. All of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s allegations have been dismissed and all fines and back-payment Orders issued by the Court have been set aside.

17 March 2011

The operators of a Cairns insurance business have been fined a total of $54,560 for underpaying two former employees.

The Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane has also instructed that the underpaid workers be back-paid $15,439 and $6040 respectively.

The fines and back-payment order are the result of an investigation and prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work inspectors in Cairns discovered the underpayments when they investigated complaints from the employees.

The two life insurance advisers were underpaid when they were employed by Queensland Marine and General Insurance Management Pty Ltd to perform work for Queensland Marine and General Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd.

The Federal Magistrates Court this week penalised the two companies $22,000 each over the underpayments.

PLEASE NOTE:

The Federal Magistrates Court’s decision in this case was overturned on appeal. All of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s allegations have been dismissed and all fines and back-payment Orders issued by the Court have been set aside.

Brinsmead man Peter Ralph Martinuzzi - a director, manager and principal shareholder of the companies - was fined a further $10,560 for his involvement.

The Court found that the employees had been underpaid wages, long service leave entitlements, leave loading and a tropical allowance payable to workers north of Rockhampton.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the case serves to remind employers of their responsibility to ensure they pay employees their full entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools and useful resources on its website - www.fairwork.gov.au - to assist employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay.

Online resources also include pay-slip and record-keeping templates, a self-audit checklist and fact sheets.

Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

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

PLEASE NOTE:

The Federal Magistrates Court’s decision in this case was overturned on appeal. All of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s allegations have been dismissed and all fines and back-payment Orders issued by the Court have been set aside.

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