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Fighting For Australian Workers Who Have Had Their Wages Stolen By Their Boss
Queensland Transport Company In Court For Alleged Underpayments

Queensland transport company in court for alleged underpayments

A Queensland-based transport company is facing court after allegedly stealing $11,000 in wages from a worker over nine months.

The Fair Work Ombudsman had previously warned Bundaberg Refrigerated Transport Pty Ltd about paying lawful minimum entitlements.

Details of the wage theft

Bundaberg Refrigerated Transport transports farm produce across Australia.

Fair Work accuses the company of wage theft by paying a clerical worker a flat rate of $23 an hour.

However, the Enterprise Agreement stipulates $26.09 an hour as a casual, up to $41.74 for overtime and weekend work, and up to $52.18 on public holidays.

Bundaberg Refrigerated Transport also allegedly failed to pay proper annual leave entitlements.

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The company faces maximum penalties of $54,000 for each contravention.

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan said there is no excuse for wage theft.

“The fact that Fair Work had previously warned this employer about paying proper wages suggests it has little regard for its workers,” he said.

“It’s pleasing to see the regulator commence litigation, and I hope the court subsequently imposes appropriate penalties.”

Mr Heffernan has previously called for wage theft to be made a criminal offence. 

He recently made a detailed submission to a Queensland government wage theft inquiry.

“The current system is failing to deter greedy bosses from stealing wages from their workers,” he said.

“That’s why we need tougher laws and harsher penalties – including criminal penalties.

“Wage theft will continue to happen in epidemic proportions in some industries until we start locking up those who do the wrong thing.”   

Meanwhile, the Bundaberg Refrigerated Transport case is listed for a hearing in the Federal Circuit Court this month.

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