Trade companies in court
1 December 2021
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against two companies operating in regional Victoria.
Facing court are Teds Crane Hire Pty Ltd, which is based in Gisborne, and Ted’s Roofing & Plumbing QLD Pty Ltd, which is based in Queensland but also operated and had employees based in Victoria.
The regulator began an investigation after receiving requests for assistance from workers.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Teds Crane Hire Pty Ltd in March 2021 after forming a belief a worker employed at the company as a crane operator in Victoria between April 2018 and August 2020 had been underpaid.
The worker was allegedly not paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements owed under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 and pay-in-lieu-of-notice under the National Employment Standards at the conclusion of his employment.
Fair Work Inspectors issued Compliance Notices to Ted’s Roofing & Plumbing QLD Pty Ltd in April 2021 after forming a belief two workers employed at the company in administration roles in Victoria were underpaid.
One worker, employed between October 2020 and January 2021, was allegedly underpaid minimum wages under the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020. The other worker was allegedly underpaid minimum wages under the Award for work in January 2021 and not provided with pay-in-lieu-of-notice she was entitled to under the National Employment Standards.
The FWO alleges Teds Crane Hire Pty Ltd and Ted’s Roofing & Plumbing QLD Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notices, which required the calculation and back-payment of the workers’ outstanding entitlements.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.
The FWO is seeking penalties. Teds Crane Hire Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $33,300 for allegedly failing to comply with a Compliance Notice and Ted’s Roofing & Plumbing QLD Pty Ltd faces penalties of up to $33,300 per contravention for allegedly failing to comply with two Compliance Notices.
The regulator is also seeking orders for the company to comply with the Compliance Notices, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne today.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.