Bakeware manufacturing company penalised
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $13,586.40 in penalties in court against the operators of a bakeware manufacturing and supply business located in Sydney.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $11,322 penalty against Mackies Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, which trades as ‘Mackies’, and an additional $2,264.40 penalty against company director Dmitry Myndreskou.
The penalties were imposed in response to the company breaching the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to back-pay a former worker. Mr Myndreskou was involved in the contravention.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance,” Ms Parker said.
In a written judgement, Judge Brana Obradovic described the conduct as deliberate.
“This was not a systematic problem across the business, but rather arose as a result of a dispute between [Mackies] and the employee, which resulted in the [company] deliberately withholding the payments due to the employee,” Judge Obradovic said.
“Compliance notices provide a mechanism for the efficient and cost effective rectification of identified contraventions of the [Fair Work] Act, including the non-payment of entitlements to employees.”
“It is vital for the purposes of the [Fair Work] Act that the public is left in no doubt as to there being positive obligations to comply with statutory notices issued by the [Fair Work Ombudsman], such as compliance notices,” Her Honour said.
The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who was employed by Mackies Asia Pacific as a sales director for more than 20 years before his employment concluded in December 2020.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in February 2021 after forming a belief the worker was not paid his accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements in full at the conclusion of his employment.
Back-payments were made after the regulator commenced court proceedings.
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. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.