Transport company faces court over alleged $50,000 driver underpayment

21 February 2012

Note: Reference to prosecution in this media release is a general reference to the FWO commencing proceedings for the imposition of civil penalties and should not be taken to be a reference to criminal proceedings.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against a transport company in Victoria's Goldfields region for allegedly underpaying a truck driver almost $50,000.

Facing court is Foure Mile Pty Ltd, which operates a freight transport company based at Newstead.

Also facing court is the company's manager, sole director and part-owner, Malcolm Garry Leech.

Mr Leech was allegedly involved in Foure Mile underpaying a truck driver a total of $48,381 between November, 2005 and August, 2010.

Most of the underpayment was allegedly the result of the employee being underpaid the cents-per-kilometre rate he was entitled to.

The employee, a 53-year-old Harcourt man, was allegedly paid 17 to 23 cents a km but should have received 28 to 33 cents a km.

Court documents also allege the man was underpaid wages, annual leave entitlements, public holiday pay and wages in lieu of notice.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the alleged underpayment when they investigated a complaint from the employee.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says a decision to prosecute was made because of the significant amount involved and the employer's failure to rectify the matter.

Mr Leech was allegedly involved in Foure Mile committing several breaches of workplace laws. The maximum potential penalty per breach is $6600 for Mr Leech and $33,000 for the company.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order for the company to rectify the alleged underpayment.

The case is listed for a directions hearing on May 29 in the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

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

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