Security guards allegedly underpaid $94,000
28 May 2015
A NSW security contractor will face Court for allegedly underpaying 14 employees at Coffs Harbour almost $94,000.
The FairWork Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the Northcoast Security Services Group Pty Ltd.
Also facing the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney is Woolgoolga man Kuldeep Chouhan, a former director and part-owner of the company.
Northcoast Security Services allegedly underpaid the guards a total of $93,779 for work performed in 2012 and 2013 in and around Coffs Harbour.
It is alleged the underpayments are largely the result of staff being paid flat rates as low as $18 an hour.
However, under the Security Services Award, they were entitled to around $40 an hour for some weekend, public holiday, night and overtime work.
The company also allegedly breached record-keeping laws, underpaid broken shift allowances and made unlawful deductions from employee wages.
Two guards were allegedly underpaid $29,650 and $23,731 respectively. Other alleged underpayments range from $294 to $8420.
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after the guards contacted the Agency for help.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says legal action was initiated after a lack of co-operation from Mr Chouhan and the company.
Northcoast had previously come to the Agency’s attention and Mr Chouhan had been warned in the past about the need to pay employees their full lawful entitlements.
A former employee was back-paid $600.
In the latest matter, the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges multiple contraventions of workplace laws.
Mr Chouhan faces maximum penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention and Northcoast Security Services faces penalties of up to $51,000 per contravention.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order for full back-payment. Less than $2000 of the money allegedly owed has been reimbursed to date.
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 on 13 14 50.
Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO , the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au .
Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.
Nicci de Ryk, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0466 522 004
Ryan Pedler, Assistant Media Director
Mobile: 0411 430 902
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