An electrician known as the ‘Nazi Sparky’ has been penalised $30,000 for ignoring an order to pay compensation to an apprentice.
Simon Hickey unfairly dismissed the young worker after falsely accusing him of theft.
The Fair Work Commission subsequently ordered him to pay $14,500 compensation to the worker.
Hickey later appealed the order which was dismissed in March 2019. Since then, he has refused to pay the compensation.
Hickey also underpaid the worker $6,000 in wages and superannuation.
Hickey owns Smerff Electrical based in Brisbane and refers to himself as the ‘Nazi Sparky’ on his website.
His business logo features the alt-right meme Pepe the Frog wearing a SS uniform outside Auschwitz.
Hickey hit the headlines in 2017 following revelations that his company sponsored the neo-Nazi website, ‘The Daily Stormer’.
‘Nazi Sparky’ penalised
In June 2021, the Federal Circuit Court ordered Hickey to pay compensation of $16,904.34 plus $482.93 superannuation to the apprentice.
However he refused to do so. As a result, the court imposed the $30,000 penalty last month for underpaying the young worker and breaching a Fair Work Commission order.
Judge Michael Jarrett said Hickey “has shown disregard and contempt” for the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Fair Work Commission. He described his conduct as “egregious”.
“The failure to pay [the worker] according to his award entitlements is objectively serious. The amount of the underpayment is significant.
“The respondent’s failure to comply with the Fair Work Commission order demonstrates a wilful disregard of the Fair Work Commission’s authority and integrity.”
Nazi Sparky ‘not very bright’
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims said Fair Work Commission orders are not discretionary.
“Employers who ignore Fair Work orders will find themselves facing huge financial penalties,” he said.
“Mr Hickey should have paid the $14,500 compensation to his young worker in addition to rectifying the underpayments.
“As a result of his refusal to do so, he now must pay all of that, plus interest, in addition to a $30,000 penalty.
“The evidence suggests the ‘Nazi Spark’ isn’t very bright.”
Hickey has previously been jailed for unlawful possession of weapons, explosives, dangerous drugs and breaching a restraining order, in addition to other criminal charges.
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