Melbourne residential building company faces court

2 March 2023

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Melbourne-based residential building company and one of its directors.

Facing court is JACZ Holdings Pty Ltd, which is based in Heidelberg Heights, and company director and shareholder Christo Douvos.

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a young apprentice bricklayer the company employed between March 2020 and January 2022. The worker was aged 18 to 20 at the time.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to JACZ Holdings Pty Ltd in July 2022 after forming a belief the company had failed to reimburse the employee for training fees and underpaid the worker’s minimum apprentice rates, owed under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 and Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges JACZ Holdings Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged Mr Douvos was involved in JACZ Holding Pty Ltd’s failure to comply with the Compliance Notice.

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. JACZ Holdings Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Douvos faces a penalty of up to $6,660.

The regulator is also seeking an order for JACZ Holdings 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 Melbourne on 3 March 2023. 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 in the workplace. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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

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