In a recent case before the Federal Circuit Court, a judge has set penalties of $240,000.00 against a company and its director, for failing to pay a worker’s full wages, public holiday rates and an amount in lieu of untaken annual leave or superannuation.
It was found the company also failed to issue the worker with payslips.
In setting the penalties, Judge Heather Riley considered:
- the worker was young and vulnerable;
- there was no sign of any contrition or corrective action;
- the company’s demonstrated failure to engage with the Court’s processes in the proceeding, which she accepted displayed an element of contempt for the worker’s claim; and
- the need for both general and specific deterrence, stating “it is important that employers understand that, if caught, it is very expensive to not properly pay employees”.
The Court’s decision to impose the penalty marks the law’s disapproval of the wilful non-payment of statutory entitlements and should act as a warning to others not to engage in similar conduct.
If you are an employer wanting to get on the front foot with your human resources compliance, or an employee seeking advice and assistance about your rights and obligations in the workplace, please contact us on (08) 9221 2339 for a free 20 minute consultation.
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