The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against an Adelaide-based company that provides nightclub and event security services around Australia.
Facing court is Agile Group (Global) Pty Ltd and Justin Benjamin James Brinkies, the company’s head of group operations.
The regulator began an investigation in January 2022 after receiving requests for assistance from an employee.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Agile Group (Global) Pty Ltd in each of April 2022 and February 2023, after forming a belief that a total of 19 workers, some of whom were visa holders, had not been paid all they were owed.
The Inspector formed a belief this led to $98,302 in underpayments for various periods of work from September 2021 to July 2022, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards, the Security Services Industry Award 2020, and Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020.
The alleged contraventions in the Compliance Notices include the failure to pay minimum rates; casual loading; overtime rates; night shift rates; weekend penalty rates; penalty rates for insufficient breaks between shifts; and not receiving payment for accrued but untaken annual leave.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Agile Group (Global) Pty Ltd, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notices, which required it to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements.
The regulator alleges that Mr Brinkies was involved with the failure to comply with the second notice.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Where employers do not comply we will take appropriate action to protect employees, including visa holders who we prioritise as they can often be vulnerable,” Mr Scully said.
“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.”
The FWO is seeking penalties against the company and Mr Brinkies. The company faces a penalty of up to $33,300 for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice issued in April 2022, and up to $41,250 for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice issued in February 2023.
Mr Brinkies faces penalties of up to $8,250 for his alleged involvement in the failure to comply with the Compliance Notice issued in February 2023.
The regulator is also seeking orders for the company to rectify the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Adelaide on 27 November 2023.
Support Our Journalism
Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.
Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.