28 Feb UNDERPAYMENTS: NEW REVERSE ONUS OF PROOF LAWS PUT TO THE TEST
In a deliberate warning to employers, the Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced the first legal action involving new reverse onus of proof laws that require employers with inadequate employment records to disprove alleged underpayments.
Fair Work inspectors audited the company, based on the Sunshine Coast, in 2018 as part of a targeted auditing activity.
According to the FWO, nine workers across the two outlets were underpaid a total of $19,467 in entitlements. It is alleged they were not paid minimum ordinary hourly rates, weekend penalty rates, overtime rates or superannuation, and that their annual leave and personal leave entitlements were not accrued.
It also alleged the company breached workplace laws by failing to issue pay slips and keep proper time and wages records between October and December 2017.
The company faces penalties of up to $63,000 per contravention. The directors are facing penalties of up to $12,600 for their alleged involvement in the leave contraventions. Additionally, one of the directors is facing penalties of up to $12,600 for his involvement in the record-keeping and pay slip breaches.
The matter is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on 25 March 2019.
Members can read what this means for employers in the timber industry in TTIA’s latest member circular.