Electrical contractor faces court for alleged failure to pay compensation

A Queensland electrical contracting company is facing court for allegedly ignoring a Fair Work Commission order to pay compensation an employee who was unfairly dismissed.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Logan City Electrical Service Division Pty Ltd and the company’s sole director, Peter Burnitt, in the Federal Circuit Court.

Last year, the Fair Work Commission made an order requiring Logan City Electrical to pay $21,505 in compensation to an employee it found had been unfairly dismissed in 2017 after working for the company for almost five years as a refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic. The employee contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman seeking assistance after the compensation amount was not paid.

The Ombudsman attempted to resolve the matter but the compensation amount remains unpaid.  “The Fair Work Commission is a fundamental part of the workplace relations system and it is contemptuous for parties bound by obligations its orders to ignore them. Those parties need to take their obligations under the orders seriously and need to know that the FWO will take action to uphold them,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.

Logan City Electrical Service Division Pty Ltd and Burnitt have allegedly contravened workplace laws in not complying with the order and the Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking that the court impose penalties, which are up to a maximum of $63,000 and $12,600 respectively.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order for the company and Burnitt to pay the outstanding compensation amount owed to the employee and an order for legal costs.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on June 25.

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