The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has commenced legal action against the operators of the NSW based business, Garry Bateman Plumbing (GBP) for allegedly underpaying an apprentice plumber.
The complainant reported to the FWO seeking assistance on getting underpaid during his employment period with the company between January and July 2020.
GBP was issued with a compliance notice by an FWO Inspector after he formed the belief that the worker had been underpaid minimum wages for apprentices as laid down by the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 and annual leave entitlements under the National Employment Standards.
In the notice, FWO alleged GBP of underpaying the worker without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. In fact, the notice further stated that the company’s sole director Garry Bateman was also directly involved in the contravention.
FWO is seeking penalties from both GBP and Bateman with the maximum penalty being $33,300 and $6,660 respectively. Additionally, FWO has also sought rectification of any underpayment in full, plus interest and superannuation.
Commenting on the role of FWO in assisting the underpaid and exploited workers, FWO Chief Sandra Parker said, “Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”