A telecommunications installation company is facing court action after allegedly underpaying an 18 year-old labourer for 150 hours of work.
Bradley Wells, who ran Attain Solutions Pty Ltd before the company went into liquidation last year, is facing the Federal Circuit Court.
Attain Solutions, which is based on the Sunshine Coast, carried out civil works and underground services for the installation of telecommunications infrastructure for companies involved with the National Broadband Network.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that the teenager was paid no wages for 150 hours of work – including digging trenches and laying pipes at various locations in South-East Queensland in June 2017.
Under the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010, the young worker should have been paid a total of $3,945 in minimum wages, casual loadings, overtime and an industry allowance.
Attain Solutions also allegedly failed to comply with a Notice to Produce Records and Documents issued during the investigation by Fair Work inspectors.
It is alleged that Mr Wells was involved in this failure by not ensuring that the company complied with the Notice.
If you have not received your proper wages and entitlements we can help. Please call Industrial Relations Claims today on 1300 853 837 or email us here.
Young workers vulnerable to exploitation
Industrial advocate James Vercoe from Industrial Relations Claims said young workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.
“In many cases, teenage workers are in their first job, and they fear that if they speak up and complain about being underpaid, they will be sacked,” he said.
“In addition, many young people are unsure of their workplace rights, and don’t know who to complain to if they are being ripped off.”
Calls for more workplace rights training
Last year, IR Claims made a number of recommendations to the Queensland Wage Theft Inquiry, including the establishment of training courses in high schools, TAFE colleges and universities, to teach young people about their workplace rights.
“Just a few weeks ago, a team from our firm spoke to some school leavers who are about to enter the workforce, to let them know what their rights are when it comes to wages, discrimination and sexual harassment,” Mr Vercoe said.
“The more young workers are informed about these issues, the less likely they are to be ripped off.”
The matter involving Mr Wells and Attain Solutions is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane.
Mr Wells faces penalties of up to $10,800 per contravention.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order for Mr Wells to back-pay the employee in full.
James Vercoe is one of our specialist team at Industrial Relations Claims who can assist workers who have not been paid their proper wages and entitlements.
If you have not been paid your proper wages or entitlements, we can help.
Please call our specialist team at Industrial Relations Claims today on
1300 853 837
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