Sydney security company revamps workplace processes after underpayments
3 February 2014
A Sydney company director who admits underpaying 24 casual security guards
has agreed to undertake workplace relations training, following an investigation
by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Ghulam Akbar, of Kingswood, and his company Attic Protective Services Pty Ltd
will also apologise in writing to former staff over the failure to comply with
federal workplace laws.
They have already voluntarily back-paid them a total of more than $7000 after
it was found the workers were short-changed between August, 2012 and March,
Mr Akbar is the owner-operator of Attic Protective Services, which is in the
business of providing guards for crowd control and monitoring of closed circuit
After conducting an investigation following an audit of the company’s
workplace practices, Fair Work inspectors discovered Attic Protective Services
had been paying its casual staff a flat hourly rate that was below the rates
under the applicable Award.
This resulted in the employees variously being underpaid casual loadings,
shift allowances, minimum shift pay, penalty rates for weekend, night and
overtime work. The employees were also not provided with pay slips.
After the investigation was closed, Mr Akbar and Attic Protective Services
agreed to enter into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work
As part of the Undertaking, they have agreed to:
- Put policies and procedures in place to ensure ongoing compliance with the
Security Services Industry Award 2010, and report on these to the Fair Work
- Ensure Mr Akbar and any other staff currently employed or recruited over the
next three years with responsibility for payroll, human resources or recruitment
undertake specialist training with an accredited provider,
- Conduct independent audits of the company’s workplace relations practices
for the next three years, and
- Apologise to former staff in writing and publish a notice detailing the
contraventions and corrective action in The Manly Daily newspaper.
Mr Akbar has also agreed to conduct independent audits of any new businesses
he owns or operates in the security industry over the next three years.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the Enforceable Undertaking is in line
with the Agency's commitment to proactively improve compliance rates in the
"We are committed to working with employers in the security industry to drive
behavioural change and ensure compliance," she said.
Enforceable Undertakings are one of a number of ways the Fair Work Ombudsman
is encouraging voluntary compliance with federal workplace laws.
"We are serious about our job of building knowledgeable and fairer workplaces
and don’t insist there is only one way to achieve compliance - ducation and
positive motivators are equally as important as deterrents," she said.
Enforceable Undertakings were introduced by legislation in 2009 and the Fair
Work Ombudsman has been using them to achieve strong outcomes against companies
that breach workplace laws without civil court proceedings.
"Their purpose is to focus the employer on the tasks to be carried out to
remedy the alleged contravention and/or prevent a similar contravention in the
future,” Ms James said.
"Many of the initiatives included in Enforceable Undertakings - like
compulsory training sessions - help to build a greater understanding of
workplace responsibilities, motivate the company to do the right thing and help
them avoid the same mistakes again."
The Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of free tools
and resources available at www.fairwork.gov.au that employers can
use to ensure they are meeting their obligations under workplace laws, including
paying their employees their correct entitlements.
Resources include templates for hiring, managing and dismissing staff,
timesheet and pay slip templates, leave application forms and a self-audit check
Online tools such as PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder are available to
assist business owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees.
An 'Industries' section on the website provides extra, specialised
information for employers and employees in a range of industries, including
The Fair Work Ombudsman conducts a number of large national education and
compliance campaigns each year aimed at improving compliance in various
In 2009, the Fair Work Ombudsman audited 302 security businesses nationally
and found that only 47 per cent were complying with workplace laws.
It conducted a second campaign some time later, auditing another 392 security
firms, noting a significant improvement of 75 per cent compliance.
Employers can call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94
between 8 am and 5.30 pm weekdays to obtain free advice and assistance from a
team of expert advisers. A free interpreter service is available by calling
13 14 50.
Copy of undertaking:
Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au
or find us on Facebook
Ryan Pedler, Assistant Media Director
0411 430 902
Want to save this information for later?
If you might need to read this information again, save it for later so you can access it quickly and easily.
Page reference No: 2617