The former franchisee of a Caltex service station has been whacked with almost $100,000 in penalties after being caught falsifying wage records.
The penalties are the highest imposed by the Federal Circuit Court relating solely to record-keeping and pay slip breaches.
Underpayments discovered during major compliance audit
Peter Dagher, who formerly operated the Caltex servo at Five Dock in Sydney, has been penalised $16,038, while his company Aulion Pty Ltd was penalised $80,198, after admitting fabricating records of the wages paid to migrant workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated the Five Dock servo as part of a major compliance audit involving 25 Caltex outlets across the country.
After being told that six employees were being paid as little as $12 an hour, investigators asked Mr Dagher and his company to provide documents showing how much they had been paid.
But when they asked for further bank and superannuation records, they did not match with the original documents.
Operator admitted he falsified documents
In court, Dagher admitted that the reason for the inconsistency was that he had falsified the documents and records.
The breaches occurred in 2016, but if they had happened after September 2017, Mr Dagher and his company would have faced even higher penalties because that’s when laws were tightened and sanctions significantly increased to protect vulnerable workers.
Under the changes, operators caught falsifying wage and time records can now face criminal prosecution.
Doesn’t deserve to be in business
“Operators like Mr Dagher don’t deserve to be in business and they should not be allowed to employ people,” WAGETHEFT.net.au Litigation Director Miles Heffernan said.
“I’m glad he’s been hit with these huge fines, and I hope if he does it again, he faces criminal prosecution.
“If you can’t afford to pay your staff their proper wages, then you can’t afford to be in business, and this guy should not be in business.”
If you have not received your proper wages and entitlements, or are considering legal action to recover stolen wages, we can help.
Please call our specialist team at WAGETHEFT.net.au on
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