Queensland security contractor fined $90,000 for failing to back-pay workers $10,000

21 May 2015

Penalties totalling $90,000 have been imposed against a security contractor in regional Queensland who failed to pay four employees almost $10,000 for work they performed.

Koongal man Douglas Charles Kidd has been fined $15,000 and his Airlie Beach-based company Mordel Pty Ltd, which trades as Spartan Security Group, has been fined a further $75,000.

The penalties, imposed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane, are the result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Mordel has also been ordered to pay four security guards a total of $9704 it failed to pay them for short periods of work they completed in 2013.

One of the employees is owed $4272 for about three weeks’ work.

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after the employees contacted the Agency for help.

Mr Kidd and his company failed to respond to two Compliance Notices issued by Fair Work inspectors requiring two employees to be paid.

Under the Fair Work Act, business operators must adhere to Compliance Notices issued by Fair Work inspectors or make a court application for a review if they are seeking to challenge a Notice.

Record-keeping laws were also breached.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the Court’s decision sends a clear message to employers that failing to pay employees for work they perform is serious conduct and will not be tolerated.

“Legal actions such as this also assist employers who are doing the right thing by their employees, because it helps them to compete on a level playing field,” she said.

Ms James said it was of concern that after warning Mr Kidd over the non-payment of wages, the Fair Work Ombudsman had since received further allegations of underpayment from other Mordel employees.

These have resulted in Mordel back-paying three employees more than $5000.

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.

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