Brisbane engineering company in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Brisbane-based structural engineering company and one of its directors.

Facing court are Incode Engineers Pty Ltd, based in Fortitude Valley, and company director Thomas Marxson.

The regulator investigated after receiving requests for assistance from two workers the company had employed between May and August, 2021. One worker was a full-time engineer, and the other was a part-time administration officer.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Incode Engineers in December 2021 after forming a belief the workers were underpaid wages, annual leave entitlements and payment-in-lieu-of-notice of termination entitlements.

The entitlements were owed under the Professional Employees Award 2020, the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Incode Engineers, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay both the workers’ entitlements earlier this year. It is alleged Mr Marxson was involved in Incode Engineers’ failure to comply with the Compliance Notice.

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.”

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.

While Incode Engineers, after the required date, fully back-paid the administration officer, it is alleged that entitlements remain owing to the engineer.

The FWO is seeking penalties in court for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice. Incode Engineers faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Marxson faces a penalty of up to $6,660.

The regulator is also seeking an order for Incode Engineers to take the steps set out in the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayment in full to the engineer, plus interest and superannuation. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 16 January 2023.

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