A Brisbane transport company has been penalised $32,000 for ignoring a Compliance Notice ordering it to back-pay two workers.
The company back-paid the workers in full as a result of the legal action.
Brisbane transport company penalised
The Federal Circuit and Family Court penalised Alpine Fresh Pty Ltd $26,640 for the wage theft.
It also penalised company director Mitchel McAlpine an additional $5,328.
Brisbane-based Alpine Fresh transports food and also other goods across the country.
The Fair Work Ombudsman started looking into the business as a result of wage theft complaints from the two workers.
An inspector formed the belief that Alpine Fresh failed to pay the lawful minimum cents-per-kilometre rate under the relevant Awards.
Fair Work also accused the employer of underpaying casual loading rates.
The inspector issued Alpine Fresh with a Compliance Notice which required it to calculate and back-pay any outstanding amounts.
However, it subsequently failed to do so.
Ignoring Notices is costly
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims said ignoring Compliance Notices is costly for employers.
“These Notices are not optional,” he said. “In fact, they are a chance to rectify underpayments without having to pay a financial penalty.
“Employers who choose to ignore Compliance Notices will end up having to back-pay what they owe in addition to hefty financial penalties.”
Alpine Fresh subsequently back-paid the workers after Fair Work commenced legal proceedings.
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Fair Work will take action
Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker confirmed business operators who ignore Compliance Notices will face court-imposed penalties in addition to back-paying workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we will take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”
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