The Fair Work Ombudsman has defended the use of Compliance Notices despite businesses choosing to ignore them.
The latest case involves a Sydney-based printing finishing business that ignored a Notice requiring it to back-pay migrant workers $230,000.
As a result, Lloyd Lam and Mega Tab Services Pty Ltd will face the Federal Circuit Court next month.
Fair Work issued the Notice after an investigation found Lam had underpaid 14 workers from Korea a total of $229,564.
The workers cut, glued and assembled paper and cardboard at the company’s Alexandria factory in Sydney.
Lam allegedly paid the workers a flat hourly rate of $13 despite them being entitled to between $20.63 and $21.69 an hour, and penalty rates of up to $54 an hour.
One worker is allegedly owed $36,666.
The Notice required the company to repay the outstanding wages by 27 August 2018.
However, Fair Work alleges the Lam has failed to comply with the Notice.
Fair Work fails again
Miles Heffernan from Industrial Relations Claims says the Fair Work Ombudsman has failed again.
“Instead of taking this employer to court for stealing almost $230,000 from his workers, they gave him a note asking him to pay it back,” he said.
“There are no consequences for wage theft, and as a result, it is rife in many industries.
“If one of Mr Lam’s workers stole $230,000 from the office safe, they would be charged by the police and hauled before the courts.
“That’s what should happen to employers too – why the double standard?”
Ombudsman defends Compliance Notices
Ombudsman Sandra Parker said Compliance Notices are an important enforcement tool.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman enforces Compliance Notices to assist employees and protect the integrity of the workplace relations system.
“We will continue to prioritise any requests for assistance from migrant workers, who can be particularly vulnerable due to language or cultural barriers, or visa status.”
The Federal Circuit Court has a directions hearing listed on 17 June 2019.
Please call our team at Industrial Relations Claims today on