The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $39,229 in penalties and back-payment orders in court against a former Gold Coast-based recruitment company and its general manager.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $25,000 penalty against Back Your Cause Pty Ltd, which traded as ‘BYC Recruitment’ in Bundall before it ceased operating, and a $5000 penalty against the company’s then-general manager, Aaron Murray.
The penalties were imposed in response to Back Your Cause failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to a worker it employed as a full-time business development manager between July 2020 and November 2021. Mr Murray was involved in the contravention.
In addition to the penalties, the Court has ordered Back Your Cause to make a back-payment of $9,229, plus superannuation and interest.
The Fair Work Ombudsman said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court on top of having to back-pay workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Back Your Cause in July 2022 after forming a belief the company had not paid the worker any wages for the final month of work she performed, owed under the National Minimum Wage Order 2021.
The inspector also formed a belief that the worker was not paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of her employment, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
In his penalty judgment, Judge Salvatore Vasta said that the fact that Back Your Cause and Mr Murray “have treated the compliance notice with contempt is a factor where the Court must send a very strong deterrent message”.
“Failing to comply with a Compliance Notice is seen by the Court as a very serious contravention,” Judge Vasta said.