The operators of a security services company are set to face the Federal Circuit Court for the alleged underpayment of three of its security guards.
According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, Statewide Security (WA) Pty Ltd, which is based in Clarkson, Western Australia, and the company’s sole director, Richard Clayton, were involved in the underpayment of the workers on multiple occasions between May 2018 and November 2019.
A Fair Work Inspector investigated the matter and found that the workers had been underpaid entitlements under the Security Services Industry Award 2010, including minimum rates for ordinary hours, overtime, annual leave and penalty rates for weekend and night work.
The inspector subsequently issued three Compliance Notices to the company in May 2020 but the FWO stated that Statewide Security (WA) Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notices, which required the company to calculate and back-pay the workers’ outstanding entitlements. The company also reportedly failed to comply with a Notice to Produce records or documents issued by a Fair Work Inspector in January 2020.
“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 Compliance Notices, we will take appropriate enforcement action to protect employees.”
The FWO is seeking penalties against Statewide Security (WA) Pty Ltd of up to $31,500 per breach and Clayton faces potential maximum penalties of up to $6300 per breach. In relation to the alleged Notice to Produce contravention, the company faces a maximum potential penalty of $63,000 and Clayton faces a maximum penalty of up to $12,600.
The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to take the action required by the Compliance Notices, including calculating and rectifying underpayments in full to the workers, plus interest and superannuation.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Perth on 15 June 2021.