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Fair Work Continues Its Crackdown On Compliance Notices

Fair Work continues its crackdown on Compliance Notices

Fair Work continues to crackdown on recalcitrant employers who deliberately ignore Compliance Notices.

The Notices are a chance for businesses to rectify underpayments before the regulator commences legal action.

However, many ignore them, and the chance to avoid financial penalties, leaving Fair Work with no option but to take them to court.

Fair Work continues its crackdown on Compliance Notices

Facing the Federal Circuit Court this time is Natjon Constructions Pty Ltd, the NSW-based operator of a building waste recycling yard in Geelong, Victoria.

Fair Work commenced an investigation following a complaint from a worker.

The man worked as a casual driver of a 23-tonne tip truck at the recycling yard.

An inspector accused the employer of failing to pay the truck driver proper wages and entitlements between February and December 2019.

For example:

  • casual minimum wages;
  • overtime rates; and
  • Sunday rates.

The inspector subsequently issued the company with a Compliance Notice in March requiring it to calculate and back-pay the worker.

Despite the regulator giving Natjon Constructions several chances to comply with the Notice, it allegedly failed to do so without a reasonable excuse.

As a result, Fair Work commenced the court action.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator will continue to enforce workplace laws, despite the on-going pandemic.

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

“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees.

“A court can order the business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”


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Penalties

As a result of the underpayments and the alleged failure to comply with the Notice, Fair Work is seeking penalties against Natjon Constructions.

The company is facing a maximum penalty of $31,500.

The regulator is also seeking a court order requiring the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, including rectifying any underpayments, plus superannuation and interest.

The Federal Circuit Court in Sydney has a hearing is listed on 2 October 2020.


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