The operators of an IT services business in Melbourne are set to face the Federal Circuit Court for the alleged underpayment of an employee over a four-year period.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that the business The Backup Bloke Pty Ltd and its director Paul Loiacono were complicit in underpaying an employee who worked there full-time as a salesperson and service technician. Due to the fact that the employee was onlu
y paid sporadically, the FWO has calculated that he is owed 107 weeks of unpaid wages under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 between 2015 and 2019. Annual leave entitlements were allegedly also underpaid.
A Compliance Notice was issued to the company requiring it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements. However, the FWO allege that the company failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, and did so without reasonable excuse.
“Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors to deal with apparent contraventions of the Fair Work Act or industrial instruments, most typically Modern Awards,” Fair Work Ombudsman, Sandra Parker, said.
“Where employers do not respond to or comply with these Notices, we will take appropriate enforcement action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties for not complying with such a Notice, in addition to back-paying workers as appropriate,” Parker added.
The Backup Bloke Pty Ltd faces a maximum potential penalty of up to $33,300, and Loiacono a maximum potential penalty of up to $6660. The regulator is also seeking a court order that compels the company to comply with the original Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full for the employee, plus superannuation and interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne on 1 March 2021.