Construction company penalised

21 November 2022

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $43,956 in penalties in court against the operators of a construction company that builds homes in Melbourne.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed $39,960 in penalties against Designer Projects Victoria Pty Ltd, trading as ‘Designer Projects’ in Melton, and $3,996 in penalties against one of the company’s directors, Visna Thanthrige.

The combined penalties were imposed in response to Designer Projects Victoria failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to a worker it employed, and failing to provide him with pay slips. Mr Thanthrige was involved in the contraventions.

The Court has also ordered the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes back-paying the worker in full, plus interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court 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 investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker, who was employed as a full-time construction site supervisor between July 2019 and September 2021.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Designer Projects Victoria in November 2021 after forming a belief the worker had been underpaid annual leave entitlements owed under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

The inspector formed a belief that the worker was not paid 220 hours in accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements when his employment ended.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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

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