FWO gains fine against Qld firm Trucking Services


Gold Coast firm’s compliance notice transgression costs $20,000

FWO gains fine against Qld firm Trucking Services
The FWO has secured a significant fine

 

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) secures a $20,000 penalty in court against a Gold Coast- based road transport business.

The Federal Circuit Court has imposed the penalty against Southport-based Trucking Services Pty Ltd.

The penalty was imposed in response to Trucking Services breaching the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements owed to a truck driver for work between June 2017 and August 2018.

In addition to the penalty, the Court has ordered Trucking Services to comply with the Compliance Notice, including back-paying the driver’s outstanding entitlements in full, plus superannuation and interest.


Read about the FWO’s case against Sapphire Freighters, here


Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell says companies that fail to act on Compliance Notices face court-imposed penalties in addition to having to back-pay underpaid staff.

"We make every effort to secure voluntary compliance with compliance notices but where they are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive all their lawful entitlements," Campbell adds.

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

Fair Work Inspectors commenced an investigation into Trucking Services after receiving a request for assistance from the affected truck driver.

The compliance notice was issued in October 2019 after a Fair Work Inspector formed a reasonable belief that Trucking Services had underpaid the driver’s minimum wages, overtime rates, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, carting livestock allowance and annual leave entitlements under the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010.

In the decision, judge Michael Jarrett remarked that Trucking Services had been "given ample time and multiple opportunities" to comply with the compliance notice, had demonstrated a disregard for its lawful obligations under the FW Act and for the FWO, and there was no evidence of contrition or regret.

"The respondent’s failure to comply with the notice undermines the Fair WorkAct’s enforcement framework and the safety net of entitlements it is designed to protect.

"I accept that it reflects a prioritisation of the respondent’s own interests over the minimum entitlements under the Road Transport Award and the Fair Work Act due to one of its employees."

Jarrett says this failure to comply is serious and there is a need to impose a penalty that would deter other employers from failing to comply with compliance notices.

"The penalty in this case must be set at a level such that it would be likely to act as a deterrent in preventing similar contraventions by like-minded persons," he adds, while noting the company did not engage in the case at all.

 

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