skip to Main Content
Fighting For Australian Workers Who Have Had Their Wages Stolen By Their Boss
Wage Theft Costs First Aid Company $300,000 For ‘flagrant Disregard’ Of Staff

Wage theft costs first aid company $300,000 for ‘flagrant disregard’ of staff

Wage theft has cost a first aid company $300,000 in penalties for “fragrant disregard” of their staff.

Paul Tempany, who runs Acute Health Pty Ltd underpaid six employees $13,715 over two years.

Wage theft costs first aid company

The Federal Circuit Court penalised Tempany $50,000 and his company an additional $250,000 for the wage theft.

Acute Health employed the medical first responders on a casual basis to provide first aid at events and functions in New South Wales and Victoria.

Tempany paid them a flat rate of $25 an hour, despite the award stipulating as much as $48.53 an hour with overtime and penalty rates.

Tempany also failed to provide minimum shift pay and a laundry allowance.

Finally, he failed to reimburse travel expenses, in addition to making unlawful deductions from wages to cover uniform bonds.

Individual underpayments ranged from $404 to $3,517, with one first-aider not paid at all for 30 hours of work.

First aid company workers speak out

Meanwhile, a number of workers spoke to Fairfax Media about their experience working for Tempany’s company, including Michael Kempe.

Acute Health owes Kempe more than $3,000 for work performed for the company in 2014 and 2105.

“It became more and more apparent that people were being exploited,” he said.

“He’s preying on healthcare students.  It’s not an honest mistake, it’s a proven track record of the same behaviour.”

Worker takes court action

Registered emergency nurse Lisa Skinner told Fairfax that Tempany owed her $1,000.

SHe subsequently recovered the wages on her own through the courts.

“I would text and email him and tell him that I really did need the money.  He would say he was sorry he had been really busy and would fix it up,” she said.

“I gave him 18 months but then I contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman in January 2016.”

Disturbing ‘pattern of conduct’

Judge Alister McNab said Tempany displayed a disturbing “pattern of conduct”.

“There is a flagrant disregard for the rights of those employees,” Judge McNab said.

The underpayments happened despite Fair Work providing education to Tempany about his obligations under workplace laws on two previous occasions.

“Notwithstanding the efforts of the FWO to educate the respondents, it appears that there has been no satisfactory change to the mode by which this company operates in relation to the way it treats its employees,” Judge McNab said.

“The impact of the underpayments on the employees were “significant”, even if the dollar amounts were not.

“The persons underpaid were generally students who were relying on the income to fund living expenses whilst studying.

“The underpayments represent a major percentage of the entitlements.”

In addition to the penalties, the Court also ordered Tempany to back-pay the workers in full.

Wage theft costs first aid companyNEXT READ  Unlawful deductions

“Withholding redundancy payments is a common form of wage theft”

First aid company accreditation questioned

Meanwhile, Fairfax revealed that Acute Health is under investigation for offering “accredited and certified” training, despite not being a registered training organisation.

As a result, the validity of first aid certification provided to clients are now in doubt.

Acute Health has provided medical first aid services at high-profile events, including Carols by Candlelight, Relay for Life, Mother’s Day Classic and the state motocross championships.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents reveal that Tempany has registered a new company called Acute Health Medical Group Pty Ltd.

Former staff believe Tempany will attempt to continue to operate Acute Health via the new company, letting his current company crash without paying the court-ordered penalty.

To contact our team at, please call

1300 184 338

To connect with us, please follow us on


Back To Top