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Two businesses face fines for short-changing workers

Regulation

The FWO seeks thousands in penalties and back pay.

By Josh Needs3 minute read

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking legal action against two businesses for underpaying workers and failing to comply with make-good orders.

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The FWO started investigating Equine Robinson Pty Ltd and the company’s sole director Ocean Robinson, which operated Horse Riding Hinterland based in Queensland, after a request for assistance from a former worker. 

The worker, who was aged 20-21 at the time, was employed by Equine Robinson as a casual weekend horse ride attendant from June 2019 to November 2020.

A FWO inspector issued a compliance notice to Equine Robinson in July 2021 after forming the belief that the worker was underpaid casual minimum wages including loading and Sunday penalty rates under the Amusements, Events and Recreation Award.

The FWO commenced legal proceedings against Ms Robinson and the company after they failed to obey the compliance notice without reasonable excuse. 

Equine Robinson faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Ms Robinson faces a penalty of up to $6,660 for failing to obey the compliance notice.

The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to back-pay the worker, including superannuation and interest.

The FWO has also commenced legal action against the operator of a freight distribution company based in northern NSW.

Christine Louise Callaghan was the sole trader who operated RC Express and is alleged to have underpaid four workers between February 2016 and June 2021.

After the four workers asked for assistance the FWO investigated and formed the belief that the workers had not been paid all entitlements owed under the Road Transport and Distribution Award, and the Clerks – Private Sector Award.

The inspector issued a compliance notice to Ms Callaghan in September 2021 that required her to calculate and back-pay the workers’ outstanding entitlements.

The regulator alleges that Ms Callaghan, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the notice and therefore commenced legal action.

The FWO is seeking penalties of up to $6,660 for allegedly failing to comply with the notice and is also seeking an order for Ms Callaghan to rectify the alleged underpayments in full, as well as superannuation and interest.

Two businesses face fines for short-changing workers
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Josh Needs

Josh Needs

AUTHOR

Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

You can email Josh on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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