Former Wyong business in court
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the former operator of a civil construction business based at Wyong, in NSW.
Facing court is MDP Labour Pty Ltd, which provided services such as laying pipes and associated earthmoving.
The regulator investigated the company after receiving a request for assistance from a young worker who had been employed by the company as a labourer.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to MDP Labour in May 2020 after forming a belief the company had not paid the employee his full lawful entitlements.
The inspector believed the employee, aged 21, had been underpaid public holiday pay and annual leave entitlements under the National Employment Standards.
The FWO alleges the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.
In line with the FWO’s proportionate approach to regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FWO made several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before commencing legal action.
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.
“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Ms Parker said.
“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order the 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.”
The FWO is seeking a penalty against MDP Labour Pty Ltd. The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.
The company faces a maximum penalty of $31,500. The matter is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on 2 February 2021.
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.
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Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director - Media
Mobile: 0411 430 902