The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Gold Coast-based IT services company Vertebral and its director, Yasien Adams, after allegedly failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.
The regulator undertook an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker the company employed as a network engineer between January and August 2020.
The worker, from the United Arab Emirates, was a visa holder at the time.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Vertebral in December 2021 after forming a belief the company had underpaid the worker’s minimum wages, payment-in-lieu-of-notice-of-termination entitlements and annual leave entitlements under the Professional Employees Award 2010, the Professional Employees Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Vertebral, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged Adams was involved in the contravention.
The FWO is seeking penalties in court for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice with Vertebral facing a penalty of up to $33,300 and Adams facing a penalty of up to $6,660.
The regulator is also seeking an order for Vertebral to rectify the alleged underpayment amount in full, plus interest and superannuation. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 13 February.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are 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,” Parker said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”