Northern NSW security company fined for underpaying guards’ penalty rates
1 November 2013
The operators of a Northern NSW security company have been fined a total of
$129,888 after underpaying the penalty rates of seven security guards, following
legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Alarcorp Pty Ltd - which trades as Summerland Security and is based at
Goonellabah, near Lismore - has been fined
$108,240 and company director and majority-owner Raymond Eric Bryant has been
fined a further $21,648.
The fines were imposed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney after Bryant
admitted he was involved in the company underpaying seven security guards a
total of $62,616 between December, 2006 and February, 2011.
The underpayments were primarily of weekend penalty rates, overtime rates and
an allowance payable when called back into work after having left for the
Employees were also underpaid minimum hourly rates and one employee was
underpaid an allowance payable for being required to carry a gun.
The employees were underpaid amounts ranging from $2401 to $15,770, which
Alarcorp has now rectified in full.
In his judgment, Judge Kenneth Raphael said award rates in the security
industry were not high and it was important for courts to protect the
"The Court finds it difficult to accept that (Mr Bryant) would have been
blind to the fact that employees in an industry working at night, at weekends
and on public holidays would expect to be paid some penalties for working these
unsocial hours," Judge Raphael said.
"The imposition of penalties for these contraventions should also encourage
others to ensure that they are aware of their legal obligations under the
relevant modern awards."
Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said the Court’s decision sends a message
that underpaying employees' minimum entitlements is a very serious matter.
"Legal actions such as this also benefit employers who are complying with
workplace laws because it helps them compete on a level playing field," she
Employers and employees seeking assistance should
visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work
Infoline on 13 13 94.
Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder
0457 924 146
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