Plumbing business operator faces court

12 July 2021

16 August 2021

The Fair Work Ombudsman discontinued these proceedings on 10 August 2021.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the operator of a plumbing business based at Jordan Springs, in western Sydney.

Facing court is Mathew Glenn Jones, a sole trader operating a business known as ‘Jordan Springs Plumbing and Air Conditioning’ and ‘Jordan Springs Plumbing and Excavation’.

The regulator began an investigation after receiving a request from a young worker who had been employed as a plumbing and mechanical services worker at the business over a 10-day period in November 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Jones in February 2021 after forming a belief that the worker, aged 18 at the time, had not been paid his minimum entitlements for the work he performed.

The Fair Work Inspector formed a reasonable belief that the worker was entitled to the casual minimum hourly wage rate and an industry allowance under the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010.

The FWO alleges Mr Jones, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic 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 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.”

Mr Jones faces a penalty of up to $6,660.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order for Mr Jones to take the action the Compliance Notice requires, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on 12 August 2021.

Employers and employees can visit 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.

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Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director - Media
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