The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $21,456 in penalties and back-payment orders in court against a Perth CBD-based information technology company and its director.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $12,000 penalty against Saga Source Pty Ltd and a $2,500 penalty against its sole director Ayden Lee Hernan-Sayers.
The penalties were imposed in response to Saga Source failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to a worker it employed as a junior backend developer between November 2020 and December 2021. Mr Hernan-Sayers was involved in the contravention.
In addition to the penalties, the Court has ordered Saga Source to back-pay the worker $6,956, plus interest.
Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth 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.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive all their lawful entitlements,” Ms Booth said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”
The FWO investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Saga Source in March 2022 after forming a belief the company had underpaid the worker’s minimum wages under the Professional Employees Award 2020 and his annual leave entitlements and personal leave entitlements under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
In his penalty judgment, Judge Salvatore Vasta acknowledged the financial difficulties Saga Source had experienced but said “once a Compliance Notice is given to an employer, the priority for the employer must be compliance with the notice”.
“Failing to comply with a Compliance Notice is seen by the Court as a very serious contravention,” Judge Vasta said.