Former real estate operator penalised

20 July 2022

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured court orders for a total of $36,000 in penalties and back-payment against the former operator of a real estate agency in northern NSW.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $4,000 penalty against David Stuart McElveney, a sole trader who formerly operated an agency based in Lennox Head trading as ‘One Agency Ballina-Lennox Head’.

The penalty was imposed in response to Mr McElveney failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring him to back-pay entitlements to a worker he employed as a real estate agent under a commission-only written agreement between November 2018 and February 2021.

In addition to the penalty, the Court has ordered Mr McElveney to pay the worker $32,000 in commissions owed, plus interest and superannuation.

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.”

The FWO commenced an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.

The Compliance Notice was issued in April 2021 after an inspector formed a belief that the worker had not been paid commission payments he was entitled to on the sale of two properties.

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. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.

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Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director - Media
Mobile: 0411 430 902