Queensland civil engineering company faces court
9 May 2023
The Fair Work Ombudsman discontinued these proceedings in April 2023.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a civil engineering company based in regional Queensland.
Facing court is Oaka Constructions Qld Pty Ltd, which is based in Gladstone and performs construction and maintenance, predominately in industrial and commercial settings, and some residential settings.
The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a carpenter the company employed between 2010 and 2021.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Oaka Constructions Qld Pty Ltd in July 2022 after forming a belief the company had underpaid the worker’s redundancy entitlements, owed under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Oaka Constructions Qld Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s 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 a penalty in court for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice. Oaka Constructions Qld Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $33,300.
The regulator is also seeking an order for Oaka Constructions Qld Pty Ltd to take the steps set out in the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayment in full, plus interest and superannuation.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 24 February 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.