Posts: Compliance

E-updates, blog articles, events, press articles and success stories about

Compliance

Court orders jail term for owner-operator who failed to comply with orders resulting from Fair Work action

Jailhouse Rock

In June 2015, Judge Jarrett of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia found that a Northern Queensland-based tour company and its owner had underpaid five employees and contravened the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Read more...

Dentist penalised for non-compliance and personally ordered to rectify underpayments

Brace yourself for consequences

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is responsible for ensuring compliance with workplace laws.

Read more...

Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation June 2019

Work Health & Safety, Employment Issues, Modern Awards, Discrimination & Harrassment

Read more...

Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation May 2019

Employment Issues, Adverse Action & Unfair Dismissal, Industrial Issues

Read more...

Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation March 2019

Modern Awards, employment issues, industrial issues, Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination, Work Health & Safety, Worker's compensation.

Read more...

FWC finds employee’s persistent breaches justified dismissal

On repeat

The matter involved a history or unacceptable conduct by an employee that resulted in the termination of his employment.

Read more...

Workplace Relations Review - Special E-update February 2019

Casual Employees

What is Casual Employment? Recent developments, possible claims, action plan.

Read more...

Best practice for dealing with poor performance issues

Better safe than sorry

Performance issues can be some of the most difficult for employers to manage and when performance management results in disciplinary action, employers need to be on the front foot to protect their interests and ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

Read more...

Imported item 102

PCBU fined $375,000 following death of turf stacker

In yet another decision resulting from a tragic workplace safety incident, an employer has been fined $375,000 after one of its workers was fatally crushed by a turf harvester.

Read more...

Australian States move toward licenses for labour hire operators

New rules

Licensing schemes for labour hire operators will commence operation in both Queensland and South Australia in the first half of 2018, with the Victorian Government also introducing legislation into the State Parliament.

Read more...

Understanding the Modern Award system

Short changed?

Since the introduction of the modern award system in 2010 many employers have found it difficult to understand the complex requirements. In fact, the Fair Work Ombudsman reported that for the 2013-2014 financial year it recovered more than $23 million for 15,483 workers.

Read more...

Service station underpayments signals Court’s approach to accessorial liability of Managers and Directors

It will no longer be accepted that managers or others “involved in” a contravention, such as underpayments, are not liable where they had knowledge or should have had knowledge of the underpayment

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia recently found a director and two managers of a company which operated a Victorian BP Service station personally liable for the underpayment of wages and breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009.

Read more...

Labour Supply Chain and Underpayments

Chain Reaction

Department store Myer has come under increased pressure from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) after it declined to enter into a voluntary compliance deed with the regulator.

Read more...

Modern award compliance failures also relevant in unfair dismissal proceedings

Valuable lesson for employers in relation to Modern Award compliance

A recent decision by Deputy President Bartel of the Fair Work Commission in Jaymon Hocking v Tackle World Adelaide Metro [2015] FWC 6519 (Hocking’s Case) provides yet another valuable lesson for employers in relation to Modern Award compliance.

Read more...

Former Director still liable to pay penalties with his new wages

FWO First

The Director of Sona Peaks Pty Ltd (in liquidation) which traded as an Indian food restaurant in Victoria was recently ordered by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to pay a total of $26,715 (plus interest) by way of an Attachment of Earnings Order to his wages with his new employer Metro Trains Melbourne Pty Ltd.

Read more...

Massage parlour docks workers pay for lacking “passion”

Passion Pop?

In the recent Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s decision in Fair Work Ombudsman v Lu’s Healthcare Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 506 (Massage Case) massage parlours were warned that failure to comply with the obligations under modern awards and applicable employment laws will not be tolerated.

Read more...

Celebrity Fashion and Wedding Dress Designer forced into liquidation due to unpaid employee entitlements

Dressing Down

It has recently been reported that celebrity fashion designer, Johanna Johnson who has designed gowns for Madonna and Christina Hendricks is being pursued in court by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and former employees for more than $1 million. The amount includes at least $300,000 in owed superannuation that had not been paid to employees for many years.

Read more...

Re-offending directors and their cleaning company to pay hefty penalties for breaching FW Act

Time after time

In a recent Federal Circuit Court decision, Fair Work Ombudsman v Commercial and Residential Cleaning Group Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] FCCA 2838, Judge Lucev ordered significant penalties against a Perth cleaning company and two of its directors.

Read more...

The Fair Work Ombudsman and Enforceable Undertakings

I Promised You a Miracle!

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) continues to successfully prosecute and investigate businesses that exploit workers from overseas. In a recent investigation of a Perth restaurant, the FWO found that two overseas workers had been underpaid by their employer to the tune of $13,822. After admitting to a number of contraventions, the employer agreed to enter into an enforceable undertaking with the FWO to make good.

Read more...

Human resources manager ordered to pay $21,760 for her participation in underpayments and falsifying records

Look what you made me do

In recent years, the Fair Work Ombudsman has made it clear that it is prepared to prosecute not only employers, but also individuals and third parties ‘involved in’ contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act). Most recently, the FWO was successful in its prosecution of a Chinese restaurant as well as its sole director, its human resources manager and its store manager for various breaches of the FW Act, which resulted in 85 employees being underpaid a total of $583,688.68 over a 16 month period.

Read more...

Cleaners misclassified as independent contractors back paid $1.9 million

Shamming it up

Earlier this month, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) announced that cleaners working at hotels run by Oaks Hotels & Resorts Limited (Oaks), a major operator of more than 43 properties across Australia, have been back paid a total of $1.9 million.

Read more...

Woolworths enters compliance deed to eliminate trolley collector exploitation

Top of the food (supply) chain

Earlier this year, we told the tale of the of the trolley collectors in Once upon a trolley – an ongoing saga involving underpayments, vulnerable workers and the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO’s) scrutiny of labour supply chains. In that blog, we focussed on an enforceable undertaking that involved Coles supermarkets and the FWO. Now, Woolworths have come to the trolley collectors’ party, this time in the form of a Proactive Compliance Deed with the FWO.

Read more...

Labour-hire operator gets referral to public prosecutor for non-payment of wages

New car, zero interest (in employee’s wages)

In most cases, a finding of deliberate non-compliance by a business will result in the imposition of a hefty fine by a court (a pecuniary penalty order). It is also not uncommon to see courts issue other orders such as requiring non-compliant businesses to undergo external audits or requiring managers to undergo specific training. The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has recently utilised the wide scope of this power in Fair Work Ombudsman v Greenan (No. 2) [2017] FCCA 2059.

Read more...

FWO seeks penalties against a restaurant that deliberately disregarded advice and underpaid employees

“All spaghetti and no meatballs”

It is no secret that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has been cracking down on employers breaching their employment obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act) and exploiting vulnerable workers in order to gain financial and competitive advantage. Indeed, the Federal Government is very close to passing a Bill through Parliament that will not only impose much harsher penalties on employers but will also increase the FWO’s powers to investigate this type of behaviour.

Read more...

Using workplace laws to support HR’s position on staffing decisions

This is how we do it

HR professionals inhabit a unique environment with a unique set of challenges – they are expected to balance compliance, business interests and employee interests all at once. The most difficult position a HR professional can find themself in is being asked to carry out a business decision by a superior that conflicts with their obligations to ensure compliance with workplace laws, including the protections afforded to employees under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).

Read more...

An induction on deductions from employees’ pay

An induction on deductions

Student accommodation provider UniLodge faced reports this month that it deducted a total amount of $74,336.00 for “rent” over the period October 2011 to April 2016 from the combined salary of two of its onsite caretakers.

Read more...

Cleaning company engaged in sham contracting ordered to pay over $660,000

It’s a crying sham

Sham contracting and the exploitation of vulnerable workers have been hot topics recently following a series of high profile cases including the likes of 7Eleven, Baiada Poultry and Quest Serviced Apartments. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) continues its crusade, investigating and litigating claims related to worker exploitation in supply chain arrangements.

Read more...

Employer non-compliance with the superannuation guarantee

Super funds not super fun

Earlier this month, the Senate Economics References Committee (the Committee) released its report on non-compliance with superannuation guarantee legislation in Australia. The report, titled “Superbad – Wage theft and non-compliance of the Superannuation Guarantee”, documents the findings of the Committee’s inquiry and makes recommendations for changes to the law and initiatives run by government agencies to deal with non-payment of superannuation by employers.

Read more...

Why businesses should have compliant employment and payroll processes

System Alert

Recenty, MAdE Establishment Group (the Group) and its celebrity chef director and founder went public with a mea culpa that it underpaid the wages of at least 162 employees across its Melbourne restaurants.

Read more...

FWO sends out warnings about payment and pay methods

Working hard for the money

The FWO has stressed that workers (i.e. labour hire and employees) must be paid the correct wage in accordance with the Horticulture Award. It is likely that the FWO will be closely monitoring the horticulture industry (and other industries where visa holders are predominately employed) given the high incidences of exploitation that have recently been reported in the media.

Read more...

Have you got “the right stuff” when it comes to super?

Superannuation payments and calculations can be a tricky thing for employers, of all sizes, to get right.

Superannuation payments and calculations can be a tricky thing for employers, of all sizes, to get right. These challenges came to light last month when the Financial Sector Union of Australia (FSU) claimed that 7,000 part time staff did not receive their full super entitlements from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), with claims dating as far back as 2009.

Read more...

Employer fined nearly $533,000 in addition to back payment for cash back scheme

Cash me outside

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s decision in Fair Work Ombudsman v Rubee Enterprises Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 3456 (Rubee’s Case) has penalised a cafe in Albury NSW $532,900 for exploiting five foreign employees. This is the largest fine ever ordered as a result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

Read more...

FroYo Master Franchisor Penalised for Involvement in Workplace Law Contraventions

Significant Decision Case Study

This is the first decision in which the FWO has secured penalties against a master franchisor for its involvement in contraventions of the FW Act.

Read more...