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Company and director alleged to have underpaid employees and withheld entitlements

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The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Sunshine Coast-based company specialising in industrial equipment instrument calibration.

Facing court is ABM (AUS) Pty Ltd, which operates in various locations across Australia including Melbourne and Perth, and the company’s sole director, Jay Parker.

The regulator issued a media release saying it investigated after receiving requests for assistance from three workers that ABM employed variously in Melbourne and Perth between March and July 2021.

The workers were engaged in full-time customer service, sales and engineering roles.

A Fair Work inspector issued a compliance notice to the company in August 2022 after forming a belief the workers were underpaid minimum wages, owed under the Clerks Private Sector Award 2020, Miscellaneous Award 2020 and the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020.

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It is alleged that the workers were also not paid their accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of their employment, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

It is alleged the workers are owed $14,689.

The FWO alleges ABM, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the compliance notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements.

The FWO also alleges that ABM did not comply with a notice to produce, which required it to provide documents to the inspector.

It is alleged Mr Parker was involved in all the contraventions.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests were not complied with.

“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,” she said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”

The FWO is seeking penalties in court. For the alleged failure to comply with the compliance notice, ABM (AUS) Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Parker faces a penalty of up to $6660.

In addition, a notice to produce contravention can be penalised up to $66,600 for a company and $13,320 for an individual.

The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to pay compensation for the amount of the alleged underpayment, plus interest.

A hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on June 11.

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