The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a former operator of a vehicle repair business in southern Sydney and its director.
Facing the Federal Circuit and Family Court are J & L Auto Electrics Pty Limited, which was based in Bexley before it ceased trading, and the company’s sole director Charles Charalambous.
The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker J & L Auto Electrics Pty Limited had employed between April 1999 and June 2021 to perform various vehicle repair duties.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to J & L Auto Electrics Pty Limited in July 2022 after forming a belief that the worker had been underpaid.
The inspector formed a belief that the worker had been underpaid minimum wages and payment-in-lieu-of-notice-of termination under the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020 and annual leave entitlements under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
It is alleged the worker is owed $19,968.20.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges J & L Auto Electrics Pty Limited, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required the company to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements. It is alleged Mr Charalambous was involved in the contravention.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking penalties against J & L Auto Electrics Pty Limited and Mr Charalambous for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice. The company faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Charalambous faces a penalty of up to $6,660.
The regulator is also seeking an order for J & L Auto Electrics Pty Limited to take all remaining action required by the Compliance Notice, including rectifying the alleged underpayment in full, plus interest and superannuation.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 14 April 2023.