Finance and insurance brokerage business in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of a finance and insurance brokerage business in Cairns.

Facing court are Oliver Finance Pty Ltd, which operates North Queensland Finance Solutions in Mooroobool, and the company’s sole director, Joshua Brian Oliver.

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker that Oliver Finance employed as a full-time personal assistant between September 2018 and November 2021.

The worker performed administrative and clerical duties.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in April 2022 after forming a belief that the worker was not paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of her employment, owed under the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Oliver Finance, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged Mr Oliver was involved in the contravention.

It is alleged the worker is owed $7,358.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth 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,” Ms Booth said.

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

The FWO is seeking penalties in court. For the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notices, Oliver Finance faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Oliver faces a penalty of up to $6,660.

The regulator is also seeking a court order requiring the company to rectify the alleged underpayment in full, plus interest. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 28 March 2024.

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