A long haul trucking company is facing court after allegedly failing to back-pay an underpaid driver.
Additionally, the Fair Work Ombudsman accuses the company of failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.
Long haul trucking company allegedly failed to pay proper allowances
Sapphire Freighters Pty Ltd (Sapphire Freighters) is a long distance trucking business transporting goods between Melbourne and Brisbane.
The company is facing the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.
The notice required Sapphire Freighters to calculate and back-pay entitlements owed to a driver.
The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced an investigation into the company as a result of receiving a complaint from the truck driver.
Inspectors formed the belief that the company failed to pay an allowance to compensate the employee for taking rest breaks away from home.
Furthermore, the regulator alleges Sapphire Freighters failed to pay accrued annual leave on termination of the driver’s employment.
Notices are effective tool to recover unpaid wages
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says compliance notices are an important tool to recover unpaid wages.
Furthermore, she says the regulator will take action when they are not followed.
“Where employers do not comply with our notices, a court can order them to pay penalties in addition to back-paying any affected employees.
“It is disappointing that the business did not take up our offer to resolve the matter voluntarily through mediation, however we are committed to taking action to ensure entitlements are paid.”
Compliance Notices are not negotiable
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan says Compliance Notices are not negotiable.
“Employers who are issued with a Compliance Notice must understand they offer a chance to rectify breaches without facing legal action,” he said.
“Businesses that choose to ignore notices are silly because they will find themselves in court and facing huge penalties.”
As a result of the alleged breaches, the company faces a maximum penalty of $31,500.
Additionally, the regulator is seeking an order requiring Sapphire Freighters to rectify all owed entitlements in full, plus superannuation.
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