Commercial carpentry company in court
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a commercial carpentry company on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
Facing court is NB Visionary Trading Pty Ltd, which operates out of Mornington, in Melbourne’s south-east.
The regulator investigated after receiving requests for assistance from two workers the company had employed for various periods between May-December 2020.
One worker was employed as a carpenter on a full-time daily hire basis. The other, a young worker aged 20 during the employment period, was engaged as a second-year carpenter apprentice on a full-time weekly hire basis.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to NB Visionary Trading in November 2021 after forming a belief the workers were not paid their accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements, upon termination of their respective employment periods, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
The inspector also formed a belief that the young worker, who was allegedly paid a minimum hourly apprentice rate, was not validly engaged in an apprenticeship, resulting in the underpayment of his minimum wages, overtime, annual leave entitlements and absence on a public holiday, owed under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges NB Visionary Trading, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay both the workers’ entitlements.
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.
“Where employers do not comply, 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,” Ms Parker said.
The FWO is seeking penalties in court for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice. NB Visionary Trading faces a penalty of up to $33,300.
The regulator is also seeking an order for NB Visionary Trading to rectify the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 7 March 2023.
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. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.
Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase and information is available for employees and employers at our apprentices and trainees and young workers and students webpages.