As many employers will know the FWO has been particularly active in the Regions with random and targeted audits of employee entitlements. Whilst in general the FWO will work proactively with employers they will not hesitate to prosecute those employers who, in their view, have deliberately set out to underpay employees and withhold entitlements.

A contractor “knowingly involved” in underpaying vulnerable supermarket trolley collectors and a subcontractor who “deliberately” produced false payment records and underpaid employees have been fined more than $90,000 by the Federal Court.

The Court ordered penalties against contractor Coastal Trolley Services Pty Ltd, its director and majority-owner, and subcontractor South Jin Pty Ltd’s sole director for underpaying up to 50 trolley collectors their minimum hourly rates, overtime, superannuation entitlements and weekend penalty rates.

The FWO launched proceedings after it received a number of complaints from trolley collectors over concerns about pay and conditions.

It estimated that casual and fulltime employees were underpaid a total of $85,367.62 during their employment with South Jin between February 2009 and November 2010.

It remains the employer’s clear responsibility to know of and correctly apply the minimum entitlements prescribed by the Award. Employers who persist in not having a properly documented system of Contracts, Policies and related ‘tools’ for managing staff and preserving their own rights as employers are vulnerable. The consequences of non compliance can be onerous both personally and financially.

If you have questions about entitlements and related matters then call us regarding our forthcoming Breakfast Seminar with former WA Chief Commissioner Tony Beech. This event will be held on Friday the 12th August as the Backbeach Cafe Restaurant 7.30am sharp. Seats are extremely limited call us on (08) 9792 4451 for further details and to reserve your seat.