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Adelaide company fined for not complying with notice

The Fair Work Ombudsman has cracked down on an Adelaide transport company for ignoring a compliance notice

The Fair Work Ombudsman says it has secured a total of $19,000 in penalties in court against an Adelaide freight transport company and its director for ignoring a fair work notice.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $16,000 penalty against BSH Transport Solutions, based in Regency Park, and a $3,000 penalty against the company’s sole director, Brenton Philip Smith.

The penalties were imposed in response to BSH Transport Solutions failing to comply with a compliance notice requiring it to back-pay entitlements to a full-time pay-roll manager it employed between January 2019 and May 2021.

The court also ordered the company to take the steps required by the compliance notice, including calculating and back-paying the worker’s outstanding entitlements in full, plus superannuation and interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says business operators that fail to act on compliance notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.

“When compliance notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Parker says.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

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The FWO investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.

The compliance notice was issued in May 2021 after a Fair Work Inspector formed a belief that the worker was owed approximately $11,438 in personal and annual leave entitlements, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

In imposing the penalties, Judge Stewart Brown noted that it took a year after the compliance notice, and only after the FWO commenced legal action, for BSH Transport Solutions to make a partial back-payment to the worker and that more was still owed.

Judge Brown found that there was a need to deter the company, and other employers, from similar future conduct, saying “the court needs to indicate that such non-compliance will be regarded as a serious matter”.

“Penalties must hurt so that others who are considering cutting corners, so far as the payment and protection of their employees are concerned, will be deterred from doing so,” Judge Brown says.

“It is important that employers recognise that compliance notices are significant and are thus encouraged to manage their business so that errors, including innocent ones, can be rectified quickly and cheaply for the benefit of both business and employee.”

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