Adelaide company allegedly underpaid employees almost $100,000

23 April 2013

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 the operators of an Adelaide windscreens company for allegedly underpaying seven employees - including three teenagers - a total of almost $100,000.

Facing court is Complete Windscreens (SA) Pty Ltd, which is engaged in repairing and fitting windscreens, as well as motor vehicle window tinting.

Also facing Court is company part-owner and sole director Lindsay Dean, of Largs North.

It is alleged seven employees, who performed repairing and tinting duties for various periods of time between 2007 and 2011, were underpaid $97,093.

Three of the employees were aged between 18 and 20 at the time.

It is alleged the employees were paid flat hourly rates ranging from $12.50 to $21.62, resulting in the employees variously being underpaid their minimum hourly rates, casual loadings and penalty rates for weekend and overtime work.

It will also be alleged in Court that employees were often directed to work through lunch time without taking a break - or not given an opportunity to take a meal break - but were then not paid for this time worked and were not paid penalty rates payable on these days.

One of the employees was allegedly also underpaid annual and personal leave entitlements. Record-keeping and pay slip breaches are also alleged.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the alleged breaches when they investigated complaints lodged by employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Group Manager, Michael Campbell, says the significant amounts, the involvement of young workers and the failure to rectify the alleged underpayments were key factors in the decision to prosecute.

Mr Dean was allegedly involved in Complete Windscreens (SA) Pty Ltd committing several breaches of workplace laws. Mr Dean faces penalties of up to $6600 per breach and the company faces penalties of up to $33,000 per breach.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order for back-payment of the employees. The matter is being heard in the Federal Circuit Court in Adelaide.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au.

Media inquiries:

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

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