Former water park operator ordered to face court

A former waterpark operator in Darwin is set to face court for allegedly underpaying an employee.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking action against D-Town Events Pty Ltd trading as Big Buoy Waterpark, and one of its directors, Jarrod Berrington after it was determined that the company underpaid an employee their minimum casual wages, Sunday and public holiday penalties, overtime and first aid allowance owed under the Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2010 between May 2017 and June 2019.

A Fair Work inspector had previously issued a Compliance Notice in December 2019 for the company to resolve the said underpayments. However, the regulator stated that the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice.

While the business already ceased operations earlier this year, the FWO is intent on pursuing the matter as part of its commitment to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said. “Where employers do not comply with FWO notices, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order the business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

D-Town Events is facing a maximum penalty of $31,500, while Berrington is facing a maximum penalty of $6300. The FWO will also pursue the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing is set in the Federal Circuit Court in Darwin on 4 September 2020.

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