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Contract Carpentry Business In Court Over Unpaid Leave

Contract carpentry business in court over unpaid leave

A contract carpentry business is facing court for allegedly failing to comply with a Compliance Notice and back-paying a worker.

Furthermore, the business allegedly failed to pay the worker leave entitlements when he terminated his employment.

Contract carpentry business allegedly breached Fair Work Act

Queensland-based contract carpentry business Althaus Homes Pty Ltd, and its sole director, Ronald Alexander Althaus, are facing court.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges they failed to comply with a Compliance Notice.

The Notice required them to calculate and back-pay leave entitlements owed to a former full-time apprentice carpenter.

The regulator commenced an investigation as a result of receiving a wage theft complaint from the then apprentice carpenter.

Inspectors formed a belief that Althaus Homes failed to pay accrued annual leave, annual leave loading and personal leave.

The carpenter took five days of personal leave in September 2019 as a result of feeling unwell, but did not receive leave pay for those days.

Additionally, the employer allegedly failed to pay the carpenter his accrued annual leave and his four days of owed personal leave when his employment ended.

Employers cannot ignore Compliance Notices

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says the regulator will enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, that does not mean employers can ignore Compliance Notices.

“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are an important tool used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws.

“Where employers do not comply with these notices, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can then order them to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

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As a result of the alleged breaches, Fair Work is seeking penalties against Althaus Homes.

Consequently, the company faces a maximum penalty of $31,500, and Althaus is facing a facing a maximum penalty of $6,300.

Additionally, the regulator is seeking an order requiring the business to rectify the underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

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