Queensland fence construction company penalised

6 May 2022

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $14,200 in penalties in court against the operators of a fence construction business in Goondiwindi, in southern Queensland.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $12,000 penalty against Drillchan Pty Ltd and a $2,200 penalty against the company’s sole director Stephen John Warburton.

The penalties were imposed in response to Drillchan failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the back-payment of entitlements to a Dutch worker who was employed by Drillchan as a casual construction worker. Mr Warburton was involved in the contravention.

The Court also ordered Drillchan take the action required by the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the total underpayment amount of $8998.75 in full, plus 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 regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker, who was in Australia on a working holiday visa and had been employed by Drillchan between April and July 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in November 2020 after forming a belief the worker had not been paid entitlements owed under the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010.

The inspector formed a belief the worker, who was paid a flat hourly rate, was underpaid the minimum casual wage, casual loading, overtime rates, and weekend and public holiday penalty rates.

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. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Information is available on the website for visa holder workers and small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.

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Media inquiries:

Claire Low, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0418 825 074
claire.low@fwo.gov.au