Broome company faces court for allegedly underpaying helicopter pilots

19 March 2014

A company which operates scenic helicopter flights in regional Western Australia is to face court over allegations it underpaid two pilots by more than $15,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court in Perth against Broome Helicopter Services Pty Ltd and the company’s owner and sole director Joseph Hans Calandra.

Court documents allege that the two pilots were underpaid a total of $15,096 over a six-month period in 2012.

They were allegedly underpaid their minimum hourly rate, annual leave payments and other entitlements.

One of the employees was allegedly not reimbursed for telephone calls he made for the company.

Contraventions relating to record-keeping, staff rosters and payslips are also alleged.

The Fair Work Ombudsman discovered the alleged underpayments when it investigated complaints lodged by the employees.

They were allegedly underpaid $4910 and $10,186 respectively.

Mr Calandra was allegedly centrally involved in the underpayments, despite having previously obtained information about the correct Award from the Fair Work Infoline.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the employer's failure to rectify the alleged underpayments - despite efforts by inspectors to resolve the matter - was a significant factor in the decision to put the matter into Court.

Mr Calandra faces maximum 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 the company to rectify the underpayments in full.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available by calling 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 Media Director
Mobile: 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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