A servo operator has copped a record $100,000 in penalties for falsifying wage records.
The Federal Circuit Court imposed the penalties – the highest imposed relating solely to record-keeping and pay slip breaches.
Servo operator cops record penalty
Peter Dagher formerly operated the Caltex Service Station at Five Dock in Sydney.
The court penalised him $16,038 and his company Aulion Pty Ltd an additional $80,198.
Dagher admitted falsifying records of wages paid to migrant workers.
Workers told investigators Dagher paid them as little as $12 an hour.
When Fair Work asked Dagher to provide wage documents they showed he had paid proper wages.
However, when investigators requested further bank and superannuation records, they did not match with the original documents.
Servo operator admits falsifying records
In court, Dagher admitted the reason for the inconsistency in the documents is that he had deliberately falsified them.
The breaches occurred in 2016, however, if they happened after September 2017, Dagher would have faced much higher penalties.
That’s when they federal government tightened workplace laws and increased penalties to protect vulnerable workers.
Under the changes, operators caught falsifying wage and time records can face criminal prosecution.
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Doesn’t deserve to be in business
Meanwhile, industrial advocate Miles Heffernan said Mr Dagher deserves to be in jail.
“This is a case of deliberate wage theft,” he said.
“This employer deliberately stole money from his workers, so he should face criminal charges, like all other forms of stealing.”
Mr Heffernan said financial penalties do not deter dodgy bosses underpaying their workers.
“If you can’t afford to pay your staff their proper wages, then you can’t afford to be in business, and Mr Dagher should not be in business,” he said.
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