FWBC secures enforceable undertaking

Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) has reached an out-of-court resolution following an investigation into allegations of sham contracting by a Queensland joinery company.

FWBC found that the North Gold Coast joinery business, known as Tasklake Pty Ltd, misrepresented to three workers that they were independent contractors, when they should have been classified as employees.

The directors of the business, James and Glen McFarlane, signed an Enforceable Undertaking (see print friendly version) admitting to the contravention of s357 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act).

The business, back-paid the three workers a total of $22,726 and has agreed to pay $250 compensation to each worker and issue written apologies. The business will also make a monetary contribution to Caxton Legal Centre. The directors have agreed to undertake training and improve their systems so that they comply with Federal workplace laws.

The directors must also report detailed information about Tasklake’s workforce to FWBC at the end of every financial year for the next three years.

FWBC Chief Executive Leigh Johns said Enforceable Undertakings are one of the many compliance tools available to the agency.

“The FWBC is here to ensure that everyone in the building and construction industry is doing the right thing to ensure workplaces are fair and productive,” Mr Johns said.

“In this case, FWBC determined that the company and its directors breached workplace laws because the workers should have been engaged as employees, not independent contractors.

“On occasion, the parties may agree to resolve contraventions of workplace laws without the need to resort to legal action – saving time and money.

“FWBC can help employers to determine if their workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors,” Mr Johns said.

For more information, go to fwbc.gov.au or call the FWBC hotline 1800 003 338.

If you are unable to access the Enforceable Undertaking you can obtain a copy by contacting FWBC on 03 8509 3080.