The ABCC has commenced proceedings against a Victorian building company, SWAT Building Systems, and its director, Ilias Lymberatos. The ABCC alleges that a worker was underpaid more than $22,500 and had his employment terminated by his employer when he requested his back pay.
The ABCC’s allegations range from a failure by the employer to pay the worker correctly for the hours he had worked, a failure to pay all entitlements owed on termination of employment and terminating the worker’s employment when seeking to exercise a workplace right.
In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne, the ABCC alleges that:
- After the worker requested compassionate leave to attend his father-in-law’s funeral, the company director denied the request and threatened to terminate his employment.
- The company director later withdrew the worker’s Saturday shifts via text message resulting in a total loss of $6,720.
- The employer failed to pay the minimum hourly rates resulting in the worker incurring a further loss of $6,720.
- The employer failed to pay the worker public holiday pay on 13 March 2017 and failed to pay him for annual leave taken on 17 March 2017, resulting in total losses of $560.
- The employer did not pay the worker for 7.5 hours overtime that he worked and failed to pay him correctly for working on a rostered day off resulting in total losses of $414.
- The employer terminated the worker’s employment on 22 March 2017 after he asked about when he would be paid his wages for the previous five weeks.
- On terminating the worker’s employment, the employer failed to pay the worker his two-week notice period that he was entitled to, eight days of accrued leave and his redundancy pay, resulting in total losses of $7,200.
- The employer failed to pay employer superannuation contributions of 9.5 per cent resulting in a loss to the worker of $959.
The ABCC alleges the conduct in the case contravenes sections 44, 45, 323, 340(1) and 536(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 including the taking of adverse action against the worker.
The maximum penalty for a breach of the Fair Work Act in this case is $54,000 for bodies corporate and $10,800 for individuals.