The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a construction and home maintenance company in Brisbane and one of its directors.
Facing court are Design Wolf Solutions Pty Ltd, which trades as Designwolf Building Solutions, and company director Brenton John Bound.
The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker Design Wolf Solutions Pty Ltd had employed on a full-time basis as an adult apprentice builder between August 2020 and May 2021.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Design Wolf Solutions Pty Ltd in September 2021 after forming a belief that the worker, who was aged 23 when he commenced his employment, had been underpaid annual leave entitlements under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Design Wolf Solutions Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required the company to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements. It is alleged Mr Bound was involved in the contravention.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take business operators to court when they fail to act on Compliance Notices.
“Where employers do not comply, we are prepared to take appropriate legal action to ensure employees receive their lawful entitlements. A court can order a business to pay penalties on top of having to back-pay workers,” Ms Parker said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free advice and assistance.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking penalties against Design Wolf Solutions Pty Ltd and Mr Bound for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice. The company faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Bound faces a penalty of up to $6,660.
The regulator is also seeking an order for Design Wolf Solutions Pty Ltd to rectify the alleged underpayment in full, plus interest and superannuation.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 13 February 2023.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.