NDIS plan-management provider gets court date for underpayments

A Melbourne-based company that provides National Disability Insurance Scheme plan-management services is set to face court over alleged underpayments.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, Kukoon Pty Ltd and its sole director Filipa Watts, is alleged to have underpaid an employee who worked as a full-time senior plan manager between February 2020 and September 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Kukoon Pty Ltd in July 2021 after it was determined that the worker had not been paid all entitlements owed under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 and the National Employment Standards, as well as having been underpaid the full-time minimum wage, payment-in-lieu-of-notice, and accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of his employment.

The Fair Work Ombudsman stated further that Kukoon Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged the worker is still owed $3,989.76.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees,” Parker said. “A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

Kukoon Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Watts faces a penalty of up to $6,660 for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice. The FWO is also seeking an order for Kukoon Pty Ltd to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 19 July 2022.