Victorian employers have faced fines of more than $282,650 for breaches of federal workplace laws during the current financial year as a result of court imposed penalties prosecuted by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Since March 2006, proceedings commenced by the Fair Work Ombudsman have resulted in 187 court-imposed penalties totalling around $6.8 million nationwide. Under the Fair Work Act 2009 individuals can face penalties of up to $6,600 for each contravention and constitutional corporations up to $33,000.
Successful prosecutions against employers have resulted from the underpayment of wages, failure to provide and keep proper records and not issuing payslips. Employees can also complain to the Ombudsman about underpayment of allowances, annual leave, overtime, redundancy pay, failure to allow meal breaks, long service leave, failure to pay employees for time worked and notices of termination.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also actively investigating employers entering into sham contractual arrangements whereby misrepresentations are made to a person about their engagements as a contractor, when in reality they are an employee.
Employers need to be vigilant of their obligations under federal and state workplace laws, contracts of employment and any relevant awards or be prepared to face heavy financial penalties.
Please contact Andrew Pickles for further information.