Building and construction labour-hire company in court

26 March 2024

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a labour-hire company operating in the building and construction industry, as well as the company’s director and payroll manager.

Facing court is ASA Personnel Pty Ltd, which operates in Victoria and Queensland. The company’s head office is at Dandenong in Melbourne and it has offices at Morwell in Victoria’s Gippsland region and at Springwood in Brisbane.

Also facing court are the company’s sole director Steven Lloyd Richardson and the company’s payroll manager Peter Crilly.

It is alleged that during an investigation, a Fair Work Inspector formed a belief that the company had underpaid 13 workers it employed on a casual basis as labourers between November 2018 and May 2021.

The workers performed work on construction sites in Toongabbie, Rosedale and Drouin South in eastern Victoria.

An inspector issued a Compliance Notice to ASA Personnel in June 2023 after forming a belief that each of the 13 workers had been underpaid casual loadings and that all but one was underpaid minimum engagement pay and overtime entitlements, owed under the applicable enterprise agreement.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges ASA Personnel, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements. It is alleged Mr Richardson and Mr Crilly were involved in the contravention.

It is alleged that the workers were underpaid a total of $236,100 and that the large majority remains owing.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth 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,” Ms Booth said.

“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to improve compliance in the building and construction industry is among our top priorities. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”

The FWO is seeking penalties in court. For the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice, ASA Personnel faces a penalty of up to $46,950 and Mr Richardson and Mr Crilly each face a penalty of up to $9,390.

The regulator is also seeking a court order requiring ASA Personnel to rectify the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest. A hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 18 April 2024.

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.

The FWO provides a free online course to help employers understand what a Compliance Notice is and how to respond if they get one. The Compliance Notice course, among a suite of free interactive courses on offer for employers, managers and employees, is available in our online learning centre.

Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase and information is available for employees and employers at our building and construction industry and contracting labour and supply chains webpages.

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Media inquiries:

Ryan, 0411 430 902,